Clinical and Laboratory Investigations
Platelet activation: a link between psoriasis per se and subclinical atherosclerosis – a case–control study
- Funding sources None.
- Conflicts of interest None declared.
Pathomechanisms of both psoriasis and atherosclerosis may involve platelet activation. Activated platelets show increased P-selectin; CD62 expression, and mean platelet volume (MPV). Impaired brachial artery flow-mediated dilatation (FMD) is related to atherosclerosis.
To determine the presence of subclinical atherosclerosis in patients with psoriasis (without overt cardiovascular complications or traditional cardiovascular disease risk factors), compared with controls.
In this case–control study, 25 patients with psoriasis and 25 age- and gender-matched healthy individuals were subjected to assessment of MPV, CD62 expression using flow cytometry, and brachial artery FMD and transthoracic echocardiography by cardiac ultrasound scanner.
A statistically highly significant increased CD62 expression, but not MPV, was found in cases compared with controls, and in patients with moderate/severe psoriasis compared with either mild cases or controls (P < 0·001). CD62 expression was statistically significantly positively correlated with the Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI) score (P < 0·001), baseline brachial artery diameter (P = 0·03) but not FMD and aortic root diameter (ARD; P = 0·03). ARD was statistically significantly higher in patients with moderate/severe psoriasis compared with controls (P = 0·017). Stepwise simple linear regression analysis revealed that PASI score was the most important factor affecting CD62 expression (P < 0·001).
Our study showed increased atherosclerosis risk in patients with psoriasis, particularly those with moderate/severe disease, as evidenced by increased expression of platelet CD62 compared with healthy controls. Moreover, we found a positive correlation between CD62 expression and ARD (another possible marker of atherosclerosis), with positive correlation to the PASI score; the most important factor influencing CD62 expression. However, our data on MPV and FMD do not support the use of either value for diagnosing subclinical atherosclerosis in patients with psoriasis in further studies.