Abstract 12061: Arterial Inflammation in Rheumatoid Arthritis Correlates With Joint Inflammation
Background: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory condition that is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) events. Since the risk of CVD in RA is hypothesized to be related to systemic inflammation, we quantitatively evaluated the relationship between arterial and joint inflammation in patients with RA, using 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography (FDG-PET).
Methods: Ninety individuals (mean age ± SEM: 62 ± 1.3) who underwent FDG-PET imaging for clinical indications, were studied, after exclusion of active cancer. Thirty-three patients with RA but without known CVD were compared to 2 control groups without RA: A) CVD-free controls (matched by age and gender to the RA group), and B) a cohort of individuals with established CVD. Arterial and acromioclavicular (AC) joint activity were determined by assessors blinded to patient identifiers, as a standardized uptake value (SUV). Between-subject comparisons were corrected for background (blood) activity (SUVC).
Results: Arterial inflammation, was significantly higher in individuals with RA vs. CVD-free controls (SUVC: 2.15±0.29 vs. 1.84±0.32, p≤0.001,), and was similar to that seen in individuals with established CVD (2.15±0.29 vs. 2.12±0.29; P=0.65; Fig 1A): Arterial inflammation remained increased in RA within the subgroup of patients with Framingham Risk Score ≤10 (SUVC: 2.06±0.25 vs. 1.8±0.17, p=0.001). Moreover, in RA patients, arterial wall SUV strongly correlated with AC joint SUV (R=0.65, P=0.004; Fig 1B) but not in controls (R=0.44, P=0.053).
Conclusions: Compared with age- and gender-matched subjects without known CVD,RA is associated with increased arterial inflammation which significantly correlates with the degree of joint inflammation. Since arterial inflammation is associated with subsequent CVD events, these findings support the concept that more aggressive treatment of joint inflamation may be beneficial for reducing CVD events.
- © 2013 by American Heart Association, Inc.