Am J Cardiovasc Dis 2013;3(4):273-278

Original Article
A comparison of vascular inflammation in psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis,
and healthy subjects by FDG-PET/CT: a pilot study

Shawn Rose, Nikhil H Sheth, Joshua F Baker, Alexis Ogdie, Anna Raper, Babak Saboury, Thomas J Werner, Preethi
Thomas, Abby Vanvoorhees, Abass Alavi, Drew A Torigian, Joel M Gelfand, Nehal N Mehta

Section of Inflammation and Cardiometabolic Diseases, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), National
Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD; National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), National
Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD; Cardiovascular Institute, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania,
Philadelphia, PA; Department of Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA;
Department of Radiology, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA; Department of
Dermatology, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA; Department of Epidemiology and
Biostatistics, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA; Center for Clinical Epidemiology
and Biostatistics, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

Received August 20, 2013; Accepted August 30, 2013; Epub November 1, 2013; Published November 15, 2013

Abstract: Objective: Psoriasis (PSO) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) increase cardiovascular diseases (CVD) beyond
traditional risk factors. Vascular inflammation has previously been demonstrated to be present in PSO and RA using
[18F]-fluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography/computed tomography (FDG-PET/CT) imaging. However,
vascular inflammation has not been compared in these two disorders relative to a healthy reference population. Thus,
vascular inflammation was quantitatively assessed in patients with PSO (n=10), RA (n=5), and healthy subjects (n=10)
using FDG-PET/CT. Methods: FDG-PET/CT mean standardized uptake value (SUVmean) was determined slice by slice
within the ascending, aortic arch, descending thoracic, suprarenal abdominal, and infrarenal abdominal aorta, and the
mean metabolic volumetric product (MVPmean) was then calculated for each aortic subsegment. Plasma lipids and
metabolic and inflammatory markers were also assessed. Results: CVD risk profiles were largely similar across groups.
After adjustment for CV risk factors, regional aortic vascular inflammation based on MVPmean was elevated for both PSO
(beta coefficients 0.31-1.47, p<0.001) and RA (beta coefficients 0.15-0.69, p<0.05) compared to healthy subjects.
Conclusions: These observations using FDG-PET/CT to estimate vascular inflammation support epidemiological findings
of premature atherosclerosis in PSO and RA. The use of FDG-PET/CT to investigate vascular inflammation across
systemic inflammatory diseases warrants further examination in larger study populations. (AJCD1308005).

Keywords: Psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, atherosclerosis, vascular inflammation, FDG-PET/CT

Address correspondence to: Dr. Nehal N Mehta, Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Branch, NHLBI, 10 Center Drive, CRC,
Room 5-5140, Bethesda, MD, 20892. Tel: 301-827-0483; Fax: 301-451-7093; E-mail: nehal.mehta@nih.gov
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