Subclinical cardiovascular disease and Systemic Sclerosis: A comparison between risk charts, quantification of coronary calcium and carotid ultrasonography

I. Sanz Pérez, F. Martínez Valle, A. Guillén-del-Castillo, A. Roque Pérez, H. Cuéllar Calàbria, M. N. Pizzi, A. Fernández Codina, E. Callejas-Moraga, O. Orozco Gálvez, V. Fonollosa Pla, C. P. Simeón Aznar

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

    9 Citations (Scopus)


    © 2018 Elsevier B.V. Background and objectives: Recently published population-based cohort studies have shown a high prevalence of cardiovascular disease in Systemic Sclerosis (SSc) patients. The aim of this study is to compare three different methods to measure cardiovascular risk in patients with scleroderma. Methods: Forty-three SSc patients were included. A prospective study was performed for evaluation of cardiovascular risk and subclinical atheromatosis using 3 non-invasive methods: cardiovascular risk tables, carotid Doppler ultrasonography and quantification of coronary calcium by computerized tomography (CT). Results: The cardiovascular risk charts for the Spanish population did not identify patients at high cardiovascular risk. Framingham-REGICOR identified 13 intermediate-risk patients. Twenty-two patients (51.2%) had plaques on carotid ultrasonography. We performed a ROC curve to identify the best cutoff point for the quantification of coronary artery calcium (CACscore), the value of CACscore > 28 AU (Agatston Units) had the highest sensitivity (73%) and specificity (81%) for the diagnosis of subclinical atheromatosis. In the multiple regression study, age and decreased HDL cholesterol levels were identified as independent factors for subclinical atherosclerotic disease. No disease-related factors were associated with increased subclinical arteriosclerosis. Conclusion: Carotid ultrasound and CACscore are useful for identifying subclinical atheromatosis in patients with SSc and are superior compared to risk charts used for general population. HDL cholesterol and age were independent factors for the presence of subclinical atherosclerotic disease. A carotid ultrasound or CT should be performed for early detection of subclinical atheromatosis if these factors are present.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)900-905
    JournalAutoimmunity Reviews
    Issue number9
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2018


    • Cardiovascular risk
    • Carotid Doppler ultrasonography
    • Coronary artery calcium deposition
    • Scleroderma
    • Subclinical atheromatosis


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