Arthritis & Rheumatism, Volume 62,
November 2010 Abstract Supplement

Abstracts of the American College of
Rheumatology/Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals
Annual Scientific Meeting
Atlanta, Georgia November 6-11, 2010.

Circulating Endothelial Cells and Endothelial Progenitor Cells in Takayasu Arteritis.

Dogan2,  Serkan, Solmaz4,  Dilek, Piskin1,  Ozden, Akar4,  Servet, Gulcu3,  Aytac, Yuksel1,  Faize, Cakir3,  Volkan

Hematology, Dokuz Eylul University Faculty of Medicine, Izmir, Turkey
Internal Medicine, Dokuz Eylul University Faculty of Medicine, Izmir, Turkey
Radiology, Dokuz Eylul University Faculty of Medicine, Izmir, Turkey
Rheumatology, Dokuz Eylul University Faculty of Medicine, Izmir, Turkey


In Takayasu arteritis (TA) with unknown etiology, it is very important to monitor the disease activity because intensive treatment is needed during active periods. Today's clinical and laboratory activity criteria alone are not very satisfactory for follow-up. This study aims to investigate the numbers of circulating endothelial cells (CEC) and endothelial precursor cells (CEPC) and also the correlation of these parameters with disease activity in patients with TA.

Patients and Methods:

32 patients with TA, 25 with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) (patient control group) and 30 healthy subjects were included in this study. Detailed medical history was obtained and full physical examination was done in all patients. The NIH activation criteria, DEI.TAK scoring and "DEI.TAK-physician's global opinion (PGO)" and also radiological investigations (B-mode and doppler USG and MR angiography) were used to evaluate disease activity in TA patients. The numbers of CEC and CEPC were measured by flow cytometry in patient and control groups.

For comparison of the groups, Krusskall-Wallis analysis or chi square tests were used. When significance were determined between the groups, they were recompared in pairs by way of Mann-Whitney U test. For the purpose of testing the correlations between the variables, Spearman's correlation analysis was applied.


There were 29 female and 3 male patients with TA (mean age: 43.5 years). Mean disease duration was 5.4 years.

According to NIH activation criteria in TA patients, 18.8% of patients were active; according to "DEI.TAK-physician global opinion", 18.8% active, 28.1% persistent and 53.1% inactive and; according to the radiological findings, 31% active. A significant correlation was determined between the NIH activation criteria and DEI.TAK scoring, "DEI.TAK-PGO" and also radiological activity (r=0.529, p=0.002; r=0.540, p=0.002; and r=0.361, p=0.046 respectively).

Serum CRP levels in TA patients (p=0,018) and SLE patients (p=0,009) were significantly higher than in healthy control group. The numbers of CEC were higher in patients with TA (7,02 ± 2,78 n/ml) and patients with SLE (7,24 ± 2,06 n/ml) in comparison to healthy control group (4,90 ± 1,82 n/ml), (p=0,001 and p<0,001, respectively). CEC numbers were correlated positively with serum CRP levels (r=0.228, p=0.34). CEPC numbers were not different between the groups.

Carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) has been found to be significantly higher in TA patients (1,06 ± 0,60 mm) in comparison to SLE patients (0,56 ± 0,11 mm) and healthy controls (0,55 ± 0,11 mm) (p<0.001). The frequency of carotid atherom plaque did not show any statistical difference between the groups


The results of this study suggests that the changes in numbers of CEC might be useful in monitoring the disease activity and planning the treatment in TA patients. The DEI.TAK scoring, "DEI.TAK-PGO" and radiological activity indexes which work parallel to NIH activation criteria may also be used for the purpose of monitoring the disease activity and deciding on the treatment.

To cite this abstract, please use the following information:
Dogan, Serkan, Solmaz, Dilek, Piskin, Ozden, Akar, Servet, Gulcu, Aytac, Yuksel, Faize, et al; Circulating Endothelial Cells and Endothelial Progenitor Cells in Takayasu Arteritis. [abstract]. Arthritis Rheum 2010;62 Suppl 10 :1283
DOI: 10.1002/art.29049

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