Active but transient improvement of endothelial function in rheumatoid arthritis patients undergoing long-term treatment with anti–tumor necrosis factor α antibody
Version of Record online: 3 JUN 2004
Copyright © 2004 by the American College of Rheumatology
Arthritis Care & Research
Volume 51, Issue 3, pages 447–450, 15 June 2004
How to Cite
Gonzalez-Juanatey, C., Testa, A., Garcia-Castelo, A., Garcia-Porrua, C., Llorca, J. and Gonzalez-Gay, M. A. (2004), Active but transient improvement of endothelial function in rheumatoid arthritis patients undergoing long-term treatment with anti–tumor necrosis factor α antibody. Arthritis & Rheumatism, 51: 447–450. doi: 10.1002/art.20407
- Issue online: 3 JUN 2004
- Version of Record online: 3 JUN 2004
- Manuscript Accepted: 6 JUN 2003
- Manuscript Received: 20 MAR 2003
- Rheumatoid arthritis;
- Anti-TNFα antibody;
Cardiovascular disease is the major cause of excessive mortality in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Atherosclerosis and RA share similar inflammatory mechanisms that include involvement of tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα). Anti-TNFα antibody improved endothelial function in RA patients after a 12-week treatment. The aim of the present study was to assess whether improvement of endothelial function is still effective in long-term infliximab-treated RA patients.
Seven RA patients (5 women; age range 25–73 years) were studied. They had been treated with infliximab for at least 1 year and were currently being treated with this drug every 8 weeks. Endothelial-dependent and independent vasodilatation were measured by brachial ultrasonography.
Following infliximab infusion, a rapid increase in the percentage of endothelial-dependent vasodilatation was found in all patients (mean ± SD 9.4 ± 5.5% 2 days postinfusion compared with 2.8 ± 2.5% 2 days before infusion). However, values returned to baseline by 4 weeks after infusion. There were no differences in the percentage of endothelial-independent vasodilatation prior to and after infusion. A decrease in the individual disease activity score for each patient was observed at day 7 postinfusion (P = 0.02).
Our study confirms an active but transient effect of infliximab on endothelial function in RA patients treated periodically with this drug. It may support long-term use of drugs that block TNFα function to reduce the high incidence of cardiovascular complications in RA.