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עמוד בית
Sat, 22.06.24

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March 2011
G. Kerekes, P. Soltész, G. Szűcs, S. Szamosi, H. Dér, Z. Szabó, L. Csáthy, A. Váncsa, P. Szodoray, G. Szegedi and Z. Szekanecz

Background: Increased cardiovascular morbidity has become a leading cause of mortality in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNFα) inhibitors may influence flow-mediated vasodilation (FMD) of the brachial artery, common carotid intima-media thickness (ccIMT) and arterial stiffness indicated by pulse-wave velocity (PWV) in RA.

Objectives: To assess the effects of adalimumab treatment on FMD[1], ccIMT[2] and PWV[3] in early RA[4].

Methods: Eight RA patients with a disease duration ≤ 1 year received 40 mg adalimumab subcutaneously every 2 weeks. Ultrasound was used to assess brachial FMD and ccIMT. PWV was determined by arteriograph. These parameters were correlated with C-reacive protein, vonWillebrand factor (vWF), immunoglobulin M (IgM)-rheumatoid factor (RF), anti-CCP levels and 28-joint Disease Activity Score (DAS28).

Results: Adalimumab therapy successfully ameliorated arthritis as it decreased CRP[5] levels (P = 0.04) and DAS28[6] (P < 0.0001). Endothelial function (FMD) improved in comparison to baseline (P < 0.05). ccIMT decreased after 24 weeks, indicating a mean 11.9% significant improvement (P = 0.002). Adalimumab relieved arterial stiffness (PWV) after 24 weeks. Although plasma vWF[7] levels decreased only non-significantly after 12 weeks of treatment, an inverse correlation was found between FMD and vWF (R = -0.643, P = 0.007). FMD also inversely correlated with CRP (R = -0.596, P = 0.015). CRP and vWF also correlated with each other (R = 0.598, P = 0.014). PWV and ccIMT showed a positive correlation (R = 0.735, P = 0.038).

Conclusions: Treatment with adalimumab exerted favorable effects on disease activity and endothelial dysfunction. It also ameliorated carotid atherosclerosis and arterial stiffness in patients with early RA. Early adalimumab therapy may have an important role in the prevention and management of vascular comorbidity in RA.

[1] FMD = flow-mediated vasodilation

[2] ccIMT = common carotid intima-media thickness

[3] PWV = pulse-wave velocity

[4] RA = rheumatoid arthritis

[5] CRP = C-reactive protein

[6] DAS28 = 28-joint Disease Activity Score

[7] vWF = vonWillebrand factor

February 2009
A. Blum

Ten years ago we published a review updating current knowledge on heart failure. We summarized that heart failure is a neuro-humoral and inflammatory syndrome, and that pro-inflammatory cytokines are involved in cardiac depression and in the complex syndrome of heart failure. We suggested that understanding the involvement of these cytokines may enable us to reverse cardiac depression and heart failure. Now we know that there are several mechanisms involved in this syndrome, including inflammation, nitric oxide-dependent pathways, apoptosis, reactive oxygen species, and mitochondrial energy metabolism. This review will focus on the up-to-date mechanistic aspects of heart failure, including clinical trials that have contributed to our better understanding of this entity.

September 2007
Y. Shachor-Meyouhas, G. Pillar and N. Shehadeh

Background: Diabetes mellitus is associated with microvascular and macrovascular diseases, potentially manifested as endothelial dysfunction. In adults with type 2 diabetes the haptoglobin genotype 1-1 has been shown to have a protective role in inhibiting the development of complications. Although complications from type 1 diabetes are infrequent during childhood, endothelial dysfunction, which is an early marker of vascular complications, may occur.

Objectives: To evaluate endothelial function in adolescents with type 1 diabetes before the development of complications and to test for potential relationships between endothelial dysfunction and haptoglobin genotype.

Methods: The study group comprised 15 adolescents with type 1 diabetes. All underwent a general physical examination, diabetes control evaluation (including HbA1c levels), endothelial function assessment and haptoglobin genotype determination.

Results: There was a significant negative correlation between HbA1c levels and endothelial function (r = -0.48, P < 0.05), and HbA1c was significantly higher in patients with endothelial dysfunction than in those with normal endothelial function (9.9 ± 2.2 vs. 7.7 ± 1.0 mg/dl, P < 0.05). In addition, there was a tendency toward a positive correlation between high density lipoprotein and endothelial function (r = 0.4, P < 0.1). There was no correlation between the haptoglobin genotype and endothelial function.

Conclusions: These results show that even in patients without complications, uncontrolled type 1 diabetes is associated with endothelial dysfunction, which may lead to microvascular complications in the future.

April 2007
M. Shechter, I. Marai, S. Marai, Y. Sherer, B-A. Sela, M. S. Feinberg, A. Rubinstein and Y. Shoenfeld

Background: Endothelial dysfunction is recognized as a major factor in the development of atherosclerosis and it has a prognostic value.

Objectives: To detect the long-term association of peripheral vascular endothelial function and clinical outcome in healthy subjects and patients with cardiovascular disease.

Methods: We prospectively assessed brachial artery flow-mediated dilation in 110 consecutive subjects (46 CVD[1] patients and 64 healthy controls), mean age 57 ± 11 years; 68 were men. After an overnight fast and discontinuation of all medications for ≥ 12 hours, percent improvement in FMD and nitroglycerin-mediated vasodilatation were assessed using high resolution ultrasound.

Results: %FMD[2] but not %NTG[3] was significantly lower in CVD patients (9.5 ± 8.0% vs. 13.5 ± 8.0%, P = 0.012) compared to healthy controls (13.4 ± 8.0% vs. 16.7 ± 11.0%, P = 0.084; respectively). In addition, an inverse correlation between %FMD and the number of traditional CVD risk factors was found among all study participants (r = -0.23, P = 0.015) and healthy controls (r = -0.23, P = 0.036). In a mean follow-up of 15 ± 2 months, the composite CVD endpoints (all-cause mortality, myocardial infarction, hospitalization for heart failure or angina pectoris, stroke, coronary artery bypass grafting and percutaneous coronary interventions) were significantly more common in subjects with FMD < 6% compared to subjects with FMD > 6% (33.3% vs. 12.1%, P < 0.03, respectively).
Conclusions: Thus, brachial artery %FMD provides important prognostic information in addition to that derived from traditional risk factor assessment

[1] CVD = cardiovascular disease

[2] %FMD = percent improvement in flow-mediated dilation

[3] %NTG = percent improvement in nitroglycerin-mediated vasodilatation

July 2003
R. Satran and Y. Almog

Sepsis is an infection-induced inflammatory syndrome that results in a complex network of adaptive and maladaptive alterations in homeostatic mechanisms. Severe sepsis, defined as sepsis associated with acute organ failure, is a serious disease with a mortality rate of 30–50%. The coagulation system, through complex interactions, has an important role in the final outcome of the sepsis-induced inflammatory cascade. A fine and delicate balance that normally exists between anticoagulant mechanisms and the procoagulant response is altered in sepsis. Activated protein C, an endogenous vitamin K-dependent anticoagulant, plays a major role in the down-regulation of the procoagulant arm. It also possesses anti-inflammatory properties. Endothelial damage during sepsis impairs the endothelium-dependent activation of protein C, thus shifting the balance towards thrombosis. This shift may contribute to the development of sepsis-related multi-organ failure. Evidence suggesting that activation of the coagulation system may contribute to sepsis-related morbidity and mortality has led to extensive research attempting to correct the hemostatic defects seen in septic patients. Indeed, a recent randomized controlled trial demonstrated a reduction in overall mortality in patients with severe sepsis treated with APC[1]. In this review we discuss the pathogenesis of the coagulopathy of sepsis, as well as the new therapeutic approaches aimed at correcting the defects in the coagulation system.

[1] APC = activated protein C

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