Autoimmune atherosclerosis in 3D: How it develops, how to diagnose and what to do

Zoltán Szekanecz, György Kerekes, Edit Végh, Zsófia Kardos, Zsuzsa Baráth, László Tamási, Yehuda Shoenfeld

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Autoimmune-inflammatory rheumatic diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA) have been associated with autoimmune atherosclerosis leading to increased cardiovascular risk. Traditional risk factors, genetics, as well as the role of systemic inflammation including inflammatory cells, cytokines, chemokines, proteases, autoantibodies, adhesion receptors and others have been implicated in the development of these vascular pathologies. Cardiovascular risk may be determined by the use of currently available tools. In addition, non-invasive assessment of vascular pathophysiology by imaging, as well as laboratory biomarkers can help to refine risk assessment. With respect to prevention and therapy, traditional vasculoprotection using statins, ACE inhibitors, aspirin should be applied to patients at risk. Non-steroidal antiinflammatory drugs and corticosteroids may be pro-atherogenic, on the other hand, they may also be beneficial due to their anti-inflammatory nation. Traditional and biologic DMARDs may have significant vascular and metabolic effects. Decreasing inflammatory activity by any of these agents may lead to better CV outcome. The official EULAR recommendations on the assessment and management of cardiovascular disease in arthritides may guide the rheumatologist during the process of CV screening, prevention and treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)756-769
Number of pages14
JournalAutoimmunity Reviews
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Arthritis
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Autoimmunity
  • Biologics
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Risk assessment


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