Arterial wave reflection and subclinical atherosclerosis in rheumatoid arthritis

S. Gunter*, Chanel Robinson, A.J. Woodiwiss, G.R. Norton, H.-C. Hsu, A. Solomon, L. Tsang, A.M.E. Millen, P.H. Dessein

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Objective Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease risk is increased in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Wave reflection occurs at arterial branching points, which are particularly prone to atherosclerosis. We explored the relationship of wave reflection with atherosclerosis in RA. Methods One hundred and sixty three RA patients (110 white, 31 Asian, 17 black and 5 of mixed ancestry) without cardiovascular disease participated. Arterial stiffness, wave reflection, pressure pulsatility, plaque in the extracranial carotid artery tree and the mean of the left and right common carotid arteries intima-thickness were determined. Associations were identified in multivariable regression models. Results One SD increase in reflected wave pressure (OR (95% CI) = 2.54 (1.41-4.44), p=0.001), reflection magnitude (OR (95% CI) = 1.84 (1.17-2.89), p=0.008), central pulse pressure (OR (95% CI) = 1.89 (1.12-3.22), p=0.02) and peripheral pulse pressure (OR (95% CI) = 2.09 (1.23-3.57), p=0.007) were associated with plaque. The association of wave reflection with plaque was independent of arterial stiffness and pressure pulsatility, and was present in both hypertensive and normotensive RA patients. In receiver operator characteristic curve analysis, the optimal cutoff value for reflected wave pressure in predicting plaque presence was 25 mmHg with a sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value and negative predictive value of 45.2%, 89.3%, 78.6% and 66.2%, respectively; a reflected wave pressure of > 25 mmHg was associated with plaque in univariate and adjusted analysis (p < 0.0001 for both). Arterial function was not independently related to carotid intima-media thickness. Conclusion Consideration and therapeutic targeting of wave reflection may improve cardiovascular disease prevention in RA. © Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)0412-0420
Number of pages9
JournalClinical and Experimental Rheumatology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2018
Externally publishedYes


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