Carotid intima medial thickness as a marker of atherosclerosis in ankylosing spondylitis

Sarvagya Mishra, Abhishek Singhai, Praksah Joshi, Rajesh Kumar Jha


Background: Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) is an inflammatory disorder of unknown cause that primarily affects the axial skeleton; peripheral joints and extraarticular structures are also frequently involved. The present study was planned to generate more data on this subject with the aim of measuring the CIMT in AS, as these patients are more prone to develop early atherosclerosis and develop early macro vascular complications like CAD.

Methods: It was a cross-sectional study with a sample size of 60 patients. The study group included 30 patients with a known history or clinical features suggestive of AS. The control group included 30 normal adult subjects without any previous history. All subjects included in the study underwent detailed clinical history, analysis, physical examination and necessary investigations.

Results: CIMT in the control group was 0.54±0.19 mm and in the AS group was 0.65±0.21 mm. The difference was found to be statistically significant (P<0.05), showing a higher CIMT in the AS group in comparison to the control group. The mean age in the control group was 30.43±6.14 years and in the AS group was 29.3±10.1 years. The difference was found to be statistically not significant (p>0.05), showing comparable age between the two groups. The age to CIMT showed positive correlation which was statistically significant (r=0.405, p=0.026).

Conclusions: Results of this study showed that there is a higher prevalence of subclinical atherosclerosis (20%) in AS patients as compared to controls as evidenced by a higher CIMT. Every effort should be made in order to control inflammation and traditional risk factors in this population, to avoid the consequences of accelerated atherogenesis.


Ankylosing spondylitis, Atherosclerosis, Cholesterol

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