Arterial Distensibility in Chronic Inflammatory Rheumatic Disorders

Mustafa Yildiz*
Department of Cardiology, Kartal Kosuyolu Yuksek Ihtisas Educational and Research Hospital (Kosuyolu Heart Hospital), Istanbul, Turkey

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© Mustafa Yildiz; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Cardiology, Kartal Kosuyolu Yuksek Ihtisas Educational and Research Hospital (Kosuyolu Heart Hospital), Istanbul Turkey; Tel: +90 (216) 459 44 40; Fax: +90 (216) 459 63 21; E-mail:


The pulse wave velocity (PWV), as an indicator of arterial distensibility, may play an important role in the stratification of patients based on the cardiovascular risk. PWV inversely correlates with arterial distensibility and relative arterial compliance. Decreased arterial distensibility alters arterial blood pressure and flow dynamics, and disturbes coronary perfusion. Systemic immune and inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) are associated with increased morbidity and mortality, predominantly due to adverse cardiovascular events. Systemic inflammation in these disorders may alter arterial compliance and arterial distensibility and, through this effect, lead to accelerated atherosclerosis. We have demonstrated an increase in the carotid-femoral (aortic) PWV that is a technique in which large artery elasticity is assessed from analysis of the peripheral arterial waveform, in patients with chronic inflammatory conditions such as RA, SLE, familial Mediterranean fever (FMF), Wegener’s granulomatosis (WG), sarcoidosis, psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis except Behçet’s disease (BD). In this review, the issue of arterial stiffness in RA, SLE, as well as WG, psoriasis, FMF, BD, sarcoidosis, systemic sclerosis (SS) and Takayasu's arteritis (TA) is overviewed.

Keywords: Pulse wave velocity, Arterial distensibility, Inflammation, Rheumatic diseases..