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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2012, Article ID 503942, 8 pages
Clinical Study

Biomarkers of Subclinical Atherosclerosis in Patients with Autoimmune Disorders

1Dipartimento di Malattie Infettive, Parassitarie ed Immunomediate, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, 00161 Rome, Italy
2Dipartimento di Medicina Interna e Specialità Mediche, Reumatologia, Sapienza Università di Roma, 00185 Rome, Italy
3Dipartimento di Sanità Pubblica Veterinaria e Sicurezza Alimentare, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, 00161 Rome, Italy
4Centro Nazionale di Epidemiologia, Sorveglianza e Promozione della Salute, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, 00161 Rome, Italy
5Dipartimento di Fisiologia e Farmacologia “Vittorio Erspamer”, Sapienza Università di Roma, 00185 Rome, Italy

Received 26 July 2011; Revised 27 October 2011; Accepted 18 November 2011

Academic Editor: Muzamil Ahmad

Copyright © 2012 Elisabetta Profumo 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.


Atherosclerosis is accelerated in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and psoriatic arthritis (PsA). We investigated a possible association of oxidized low-density lipoproteins (ox-LDLs), nitric oxide (NO), 3-nitrotyrosine, vitamin A, vitamin E, and β-carotene serum levels with subclinical atherosclerosis in RA and PsA. By the use of ELISA, we observed higher ox-LDL levels in patients with intima-media thickness (IMT) > 1 than in patients with IMT ≤ 1 and a negative correlation between NO levels and IMT values. By the use of high-performance liquid chromatography, we determined higher levels of vitamin A in patients with PsA and IMT ≤ 1 than in controls and lower levels of β-carotene in patients with RA and PsA than in controls. β-carotene concentrations were negatively correlated to the duration of disease in RA. Our study confirms that ox-LDLs and NO may be markers of accelerated atherosclerosis in RA and PsA whereas vitamins seem to be associated only to the presence of the autoimmune disorders.