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Abstract

Background

Behçet's disease (BD), is a chronic, systemic vasculitis, which may affect all types and sizes of blood vessels. BD is associated with endothelial dysfunction and chronic inflammation. Endothelial dysfunction is the critical early step in the process of atherogenesis, and it is commonly investigated by measuring arterial stiffness. Mean platelet volume (MPV) has been investigated in relation with both thrombosis and inflammation. We aimed to investigate the relationship between an increased arterial stiffness and MPV in patients with Behçet's disease without significant cardiovascular involvement.

Methods

We studied 36 patients (20 males, mean age: 37.6 ± 11.7 years) who were diagnosed by the international diagnostic criteria of BD and 35 healthy controls (15 males, mean age: 35.0 ± 10.6 years), and the two groups were matched by age and gender. MPV levels and arterial stiffness measurements were compared in these groups.

Results

Arterial stiffness was higher in patients with BD compared to control group. (BD and controls; 7.28 m/s, 6.64 m/s; respectively) (p: 0.02). MPV levels were also significantly higher in patients with BD compared to control group. (BD and controls; 8.86 ± 0.81 fl, 8.39 ± 0.96 fl, respectively) (p: 0.02). Additionally, arterial stiffness correlated positively with age, the duration of disease and MPV levels in patients with BD (p: 0.002, 0.03, 0.02 respectively).

Conclusions

In our study, increased MPV is associated with arterial stiffness in patients with BD without significant cardiovascular involvement. It shows that there is a relationship between thrombosis and chronic inflammation in BD. Furthermore, MPV is also a moderate predictor of cardiovascular disease and represents an increase in platelet activation. These findings provide further evidence of a link between inflammation and thrombosis in patients with BD.