Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

International Journal of Biomedical Science








Chronic inflammatory disorders have been associated with accelerated atherosclerosis and increased cardiovascular (CV) risk. Recent evidence suggests that erosive hand osteoarthritis (EOA) has considerable inflammation; therefore, we examined the presence of subclinical atherosclerosis and endothelial dysfunction in EOA. Twenty-four patients with EOA and 24 age- and sex-matched healthy individuals without clinical OA were included in the study. No subject had a history of CV disease. Intima-media thickness (IMT) and atheromatous plaques in the common carotid and common femoral arteries were measured by Doppler ultrasonography. The endothelium-dependent, flow-mediated dilatation (FMD) and endothelium-independent, sublingual glyceryl trinitrate (NTG)-induced dilatation (NMD) of the brachial artery were assessed. The EOA patients had significantly elevated systolic and diastolic blood pressure (p<0.001 for both). The 10-year risk of general CV disease, as predicted with the Framingham Risk Score, was similar in patients and controls (p=0.18). IMT of both common carotid and common femoral artery were increased in EOA (p=0.01 and p<0.01, respectively), but the frequency of atherosclerotic plaques was not increased. There was no difference in FMD and NMD between the two groups, but the difference between FMD and NMD was increased in EOA. In conclusion, this small controlled study showed an association between EOA and subclinical atherosclerosis that cannot be fully attributed to traditional CV risk factors, as assessed by the Framingham score. These results suggest that chronic, low-grade inflammation is implicated in atherosclerosis in EOA.


© Athanasios Koutroumpas et al. Licensee Master Publishing Group.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Generic (CC BY 2.5) License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Original Publication Citation

Koutroumpas, A., Giannoukas, A., Zintzaras, E., Exarchou, E., Baliakos, A., Makaritsis, K., & Sakkas, L. I. (2013). Erosive hand osteoarthritis is associated with subclinical atherosclerosis and endothelial dysfunction. International Journal of Biomedical Science, 9(4), 217-223.