Aim: Chronic inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis is associated with vascular endothelial dysfunction. The objective was to study the efficacy and safety of advanced glycation end products (AGEs) inhibitor (benfotiamine 50 mg + pyridoxamine 50 mg + methylcobalamin 500 μg, Vonder® (ACME Lifescience, Baddi, Himachal Pradesh, India)) on endothelial function in rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Methods: Twenty-four patients with established active RA with high disease activity (Disease Activity Score of 28 joints [DAS28 score] > 5.1) despite treatment with stable doses of conventional disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs were investigated. Inflammatory disease activity (DAS28 and Health Assessment Questionnaire-Disability Index [HAQ-DI] scores, erythrocyte sedimentation rate [ESR] and C-reactive protein [CRP]), markers of endothelial dysfunction, serum nitrite concentration and endothelium-dependent and -independent vasodilation of the brachial artery were measured before and after 12 weeks therapy with twice a day oral AGEs inhibitor.
Results: After treatment, flow-mediated vasodilation improved from 9.64 ± 0.65% to 15.82 ± 1.02% (P < 0.01), whereas there was no significant change in endothelium-independent vasodilation with nitroglycerin and baseline diameter; serum nitrite concentration significantly reduced from 5.6 ± 0.13 to 5.1 ± 0.14 μmol/L (P = 0.004), ESR from 63.00 ± 3.5 to 28.08 ± 1.5 mm in the first h (P < 0.01) and CRP levels from 16.7 ± 4.1 to 10.74 ± 2.9 mg/dL (P < 0.01). DAS28 and HAQ-DI scores were significantly reduced, from 5.9 ± 0.17 to 3.9 ± 0.17 (P < 0.01) and 4.6 ± 0.17 to 1.7 ± 0.22 (P < 0.01), respectively.
Conclusions: Advanced glycation end products inhibitor improves endothelial dysfunction and inflammatory disease activity in RA. In RA, endothelial dysfunction is part of the disease process and is mediated by AGEs-induced inflammation.