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International Journal of Rheumatology
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 381931, 8 pages
Research Article

Asymptomatic Atherosclerosis in Egyptian Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients and Its Relation to Disease Activity

1Rheumatology and Rehabilitation Department, Minia University, P.O. Box 61519, Minia 61111, Egypt
2Cardiology Department, Minia University, P.O. Box 61519, Minia 61111, Egypt
3Clinical Pathology Department, Minia University, P.O. Box 61519, Minia 61111, Egypt

Received 15 September 2014; Revised 6 January 2015; Accepted 11 January 2015

Academic Editor: Bruce M. Rothschild

Copyright © 2015 Rawhya R. Elshereef et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Aim. To detect the frequency of subclinical atherosclerosis in rheumatoid arthritis patients without clinically evident atherosclerosis and to correlate its presence with the disease activity. Patients and Methods. Our study includes 112 RA patients (group 1) and 40 healthy controls (group 11). All patients and controls were subjected to full history taking, clinical examination, and laboratory investigations. Carotid intima media wall thickness (IMT) and carotid plaques were measured in both groups by B-mode ultrasonography; also color duplex Doppler ultrasound of the brachial artery was done to detect endothelial function. Results. There is atherosclerosis in 31.3% of asymptomatic RA patients compared with only 5% in controls . A significant difference was detected in patients with and without atherosclerosis regarding duration of the disease and patient’s age . There is highly statistical significant correlation between atherosclerosis and disease activity index. Conclusion. The frequency of subclinical atherosclerosis was high in long-term active RA patients.