Atherosclerosis and cardiovascular risk in patients with systemic sclerosis

Authors: S. Oreská 1,2;  H. Štorkánová 1,2;  M. Špiritović 1,3;  M. Tomčík 1,2
Authors‘ workplace: Revmatologický ústav, Praha 1;  Revmatologická klinika, 1. lékařská fakulta, Univerzita Karlova, Praha 2;  Katedra fyzioterapie, Fakulta tělesné výchovy a sportu, Univerzita Karlova, Praha 3
Published in: Čes. Revmatol., 25, 2017, No. 4, p. 172-183.
Category: Review Article


Atherosclerosis has been considered a degenerative disease affecting large and medium-sized arteries, resulting in a passive build-up of cholesterol in the artery wall. In the last decade immune system has been proved to play the key role in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. The assumption that atherosclerosis is more progressive and accelerated in chronic inflammatory conditions was proved especially in rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus. There are only few studies evaluating the prevalence of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular risk in systemic sclerosis. Moreover, these studies present contradictory results. Furthermore, it is complicated to distinguish primary vascular affection related to the pathogenesis of systemic sclerosis from the secondary vascular infliction due to atherosclerosis. Nevertheless, most of studies to date suggest atherosclerosis and its clinical manifestations to be more prevalent in systemic sclerosis compared to the general population. Future studies evaluating larger cohorts of patients are required to determine the relevance of atherosclerosis and management of these comorbidities in systemic sclerosis.

Key words:
Atherosclerosis, cardiovascular risk, systemic sclerosis


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