Anti-tumour necrosis factor-alpha therapy over conventional therapy improves endothelial function in adults with rheumatoid arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is associated with cardiovascular morbidity and mortality and inflammation contributes to related endothelial dysfunction. We aimed to investigate the effect of anti-TNFα therapy on endothelial function in subjects with rheumatoid arthritis. We measured flow-mediated (FMD) and GTN-mediated dilation of the brachial artery before and following 36 weeks of anti-TNFα therapy in nine RA patients and in a group of RA patients on conventional therapy. Thirty-six weeks of anti-TNFα therapy improved FMD relative to those on conventional therapy (8.65 ± 1.50 vs. 1.70 ± 1.36%, P = 0.02). No significant changes in GTN responses were evident. Significant improvements in tender (P = 0.03) and swollen (P = 0.02) joint counts, patients' global self-assessment (P = 0.01) and DAS-28 scores (P = 0.04) were observed in the anti-TNFα treated group. The addition of anti-TNFα treatment to conventional therapy, in those with severe RA, reduces inflammatory symptoms and improves endothelial function, potentially lowering future atherosclerotic risk
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