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New parameters for identifying subclinical atherosclerosis in patients with primary Sjögren's syndrome: a pilot study

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2014 Vol.32, N°3
PI 0361, PF 0368
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PMID: 24565029 [PubMed]

Received: 30/08/2013
Accepted : 20/11/2013
In Press: 24/02/2014
Published: 26/05/2014


We investigated sub-clinical cardiovascular involvement in primary Sjögren`s syndrome (pSS) patients by means of ADMA, coronary flow reserve (CFR), intima media thickness (cIMT), pulse wave velocity (PWV) and myocardial deformation.
The study involved 22 outpatients with pSS (6 males, 16 females; mean age 60.14±7.81 years) and no documentable cardiovascular disease, and 22 age- and gender-matched controls. Dipyridamole transthoracic stress echocardiography was used to evaluate wall motion and CFR. A CFR value of <2.5 was considered a sign of impaired coronary function. We also evaluated cIMT arterial stiffness PWV and plasma ADMA levels, and made a speckle tracking echocardiography (STE) analysis.
All of the patients were affected by pSS. Although within the normal range, the patients` CFR was lower than that of the controls (median 2.70; IQR 2.40–2.90 vs. 3.20; IQR 3.06–3.33; p<0.0001), whereas their ADMA levels were significantly higher (median 0.81 μM; IQR 0.79–0.85 μM vs. 0.54 μM; IQR 0.52–0.58 μM; p<0.0001). Both left and right PWV values were significantly higher in the patients than in the controls (median 8.8 m/s right and 8.9 m/s left vs. 6.86 and 6.89 m/s), whereas QIMT was substantially similar in the two groups.
Higher ADMA levels suggest the presence of endothelial dysfunction and sub-clinical atherosclerosis in pSS patients, even in the case of a normal CFR. This finding is supported by the PWV values, which were higher in the pSS patients. ADMA levels and PWV values may be useful markers for identifying early endothelial dysfunction in pSS patients.

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