Angiopoietin-2 is highly correlated with inflammation and disease activity in recent-onset rheumatoid arthritis and could be predictive for cardiovascular disease

Rheumatology, 12/13/2010

Westra J et al. –The objective of this study was to investigate whether serum levels of endothelial cell activation markers in early RA patients can serve as biomarkers for inflammation and disease activity, and are associated with radiological progression and development of cardiovascular disease (CVD). In early RA, markers of endothelial activation are highly correlated with inflammation and disease activity, but not with radiological progression. Angpt-2 could be predictive for of CVD since Angpt-2 levels were significantly higher in CVD patients than in non-CVD patients.

Methods

  • Serum levels of VEGF, soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule (sVCAM)-1 and angiopoietin-2 (Angpt-2) measured by ELISA in 176 patients with recent-onset RA, at time of diagnosis and after 2 years
  • Markers of inflammation and disease activity assessed, as well as radiological damage of hands and feet, at diagnosis and after 2 years
  • Prevalence of CVD of all patients after 12.5 years disease duration retrieved from medical records

Results

  • Patients with RA had higher levels of VEGF and Angpt-2 at disease onset compared with healthy controls, which correlated with markers of inflammation, but not predictive of radiological progression after 2 years
  • Angpt-2 levels, moreover, significantly correlated with measures of disease activity
  • Nearly 18% of RA patients developed CVD after average of 12.5 years of disease, and these patients had significantly higher level of Angpt-2 at onset of RA compared with patients who did not develop CVD

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