Journal «Angiology and Vascular Surgery» • 

2014 • VOLUME 20 • №1

System of microcirculation, markers of vascular wall damage and systematicity of the process in rheumatic diseases

Shilkina N.P.1, Butusova S.V.2, Dryazhenkova I.V.3

1) Chair for Propedeutics of Internal Diseases, Yaroslavl State Medical Academy under the RF ministry of Public Health RF,
2) Polyclinic No1 of the State Medical Facility Yaroslavl Medical Unit of the Open Joint-Stock Company Yaroslavl Tyre Factory,
3) Non-budgetary Medical Facility “Railroad Clinical Hospital on the Yaroslavl Station of the Open Joint-Stock Company «Russian Railways»,Yaroslavl, Russia

The work was aimed at studying the interrelationship of the microcirculation system and the parameters of endothelial activation with markers of inflammatory process activity in rheumatic diseases (RD).

We carried out a comprehensive examination of a total of 330 patients presenting with systemic diseases of connective tissue (SDCT), rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and systemic vasculitis (SV). Studying microcirculation included impregnation of filmy preparations according to the V.V. Kupriyanov technique and biomicroscopy of the conjunctiva of the eyeball. We also determined markers of endothelial activation and lesion of vascular wall, indices of activity of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and vasculitis clinical activity index (VCAI), common carotid artery intima-media thickness (CCA-IMT), biopsy materials of the musculocutaneous flap, of the operational and autopsy materials.

Determining the indices of microcirculation showed that first of all the process involves postcapillaries and venules which are dilated, becoming tortuous, with the formation of microaneurysms and stellate venules.

Capillaries, postcapillaries and venules were found to contain parietally located small-grained conglomerates of blood platelets and thrombocytic masses plugging up the lumens of microvessels. Intravascular alterations were characterized by the presence of erythrocyte aggregates, stases, microthrombovasculitis, «sludge» phenomenon, and a decrease in capillary blood flow. Extravascular changes included perivascular haemorrhages. In arterioles and precapillaries the inflammatory process manifested itself by swelling, dystrophy and desquamation of endothelial cells, plasmatic impregnation of the walls, luminal thrombosis followed by the development of severe sclerosis and glialinosis. The morphological study showed the presence of destructive alterations in the vascular wall, fibrinoid necrosis, and infiltration-proliferative cellular reaction.

The most pronounced changes in the autoimmune inflammation markers had place in RA and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). We revealed increased indices of inflammatory process activity such as interleukin-8, C-reactive protein (CRP). We also revealed the signs of endothelial dysfunction, manifesting itself as a statistically significant (p<0.01) increase in concentrations of the soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule (sVCAM-1), von Willebrand factor antigen (VWFA), the number of desquamated endotheliocytes (DE). Also observed was a clear-cut dependence of the level of endothelial activation markers from the degree of the processes activity. We revealed a positive correlation between the level of CRP, IgG RF, the level of sVCAM-1 and the number of DE.

The levels of interleukin-8, sVCAM-1 and VWFA were elevated in patients with RD. Increased activity of the disease was accompanied by impairments at the level of the microcirculatory bed, an increase in the concentration of inflammation markers and indices of endothelial dysfunction.

KEY WORDS: rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, microcirculation, soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule, von Willebrand factor antigen, desquamated endotheliocytes.

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