Aortic pulse wave velocity measurement in systemic sclerosis patients

  • M. Colaci | Rheumatology Unit, University of Modena and Regio Emilia, Italy.
  • D. Giuggioli
  • A. Manfredi
  • M. Sebastiani
  • F. Coppi
  • R. Rossi
  • C. Ferri


Background. Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is characterized by endothelial dysfunction and widespread microangiopathy. However, a macrovascular damage could be also associated. Aortic pulse wave velocity (aPWV) is known to be a reliable indicator of arterial stiffness and a useful prognostic predictor of cardiovascular events. Moreover, aPWV may be easily measured by non-invasive, user-friendly tool. Aim of our study was to evaluate aPWV alterations in a series of SSc patients. Methods. The aPWV was evaluated in 35 consecutive female SSc patients and 26 sex- and age-matched healthy controls. aPWV alterations were correlated with cardiopulmonary involvement. Results. A significant increase of aPWV was observed in SSc patients compared to controls (9.4±3.2 m/s vs 7.3±1 m/s; P=0.002). In particular, 14/35 (40%) SSc patients and only 1/26 (4%) controls (P=0.0009) showed increased aPWV (>9 m/s cut-off value). Moreover, echocardiography evaluation showed an increased prevalence of right atrial and ventricular dilatation (atrial volume: 23.6±6.2 mL vs 20.3±4.3 mL, P=0.026; ventricular diameter 19.5±4.9 mm vs 15.9±1.6 mm; P=0.001) associated to higher values of pulmonary arterial systolic pressure (PAPs) in SSc patients (31.5±10.4 mmHg vs 21.6±2.9 mmHg; P<0.0001; 40% of SSc patients showed an abnormal PAPs). Clinically, SSc patients presented a reduction of six-minute walking test (413±96 m vs 491±49 m; P=0.001), not correlated with pulmonary function tests. Increased aPWV values were evidenced only in SSc patients >50 years old. Furthermore, altered aPWV was more frequently associated with limited cutaneous pattern, longer disease duration (≥5 years), and/or presence of anticentromere antibody (ACA). Conclusions. A significantly higher prevalence of abnormally increased aPWV was evidenced in SSc patients compared to healthy controls. The possibility of more pronounced and diffuse vascular damage in a particular SSc subset (ACA-positive subjects with limited cutaneous scleroderma and longer disease duration) might be raised.



PlumX Metrics


Download data is not yet available.
pulse wave velocity, scleroderma, systemic sclerosis, pulmonary arterial hypertension, arterial stiffness
  • Abstract views: 1929

  • PDF: 758
How to Cite
Colaci, M., Giuggioli, D., Manfredi, A., Sebastiani, M., Coppi, F., Rossi, R., & Ferri, C. (2012). Aortic pulse wave velocity measurement in systemic sclerosis patients. Reumatismo, 64(6), 360-367.

Most read articles by the same author(s)

1 2 > >>