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Effects of Infliximab Treatment on Lipoprotein Profile in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis and Ankylosing Spondylitis

DIMITRIOS N. KIORTSIS, ANASTASIOS K. MAVRIDIS, THEODOSIOS D. FILIPPATOS, SPYROS VASAKOS, SPYROS N. NIKAS, and ALEXANDROS A. DROSOS

ABSTRACT.

Objective. To investigate the longterm effects of the anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF) therapy infliximab, a drug known to reduce disease activity in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and ankylosing spondylitis (AS).

Methods. Eighty-two patients (50 with RA, 32 with AS) aged 17-77 years were enrolled. All patients were treated with intravenous infliximab. Lipid profile was assessed at baseline and after 6 months of treatment.

Results. Disease activity significantly decreased in patients with RA and AS at the end of infliximab therapy. Infliximab treatment significantly increased total cholesterol from 206 to 216 mg/dl (p < 0.05) and triglycerides from 109 to 122 mg/dl (p < 0.05). The low density lipoprotein (LDL) and high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol did not change during treatment. Furthermore, the total cholesterol/HDL cholesterol and triglycerides/HDL cholesterol ratios did not change significantly.

Conclusion. The influence of infliximab treatment on lipid profile seems to be neutral, since neither LDL cholesterol levels nor total cholesterol/HDL cholesterol and triglycerides/HDL cholesterol ratios changed significantly during the 6-month therapy. Our findings suggest that the favorable effect of infliximab treatment on cardiovascular comorbidity may not be mainly mediated by the effects on the lipid profile, but further investigations are needed in order to confirm this hypothesis. (First Release Mar 15 2006; J Rheumatol 2006;33:921–3)

Key Indexing Terms:

INFLIXIMAB
RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS
ANKYLOSING SPONDYLITIS
CHOLESTEROL
TRIGLYCERIDES
ATHEROGENIC INDEX


From the Physiology and Microbiology Laboratories, the Department of Internal Medicine, and the Rheumatology Clinic, Medical School, University of Ioannina, Ioannina, Greece.

D.N. Kiortsis, MD, Assistant Professor of Physiology, Laboratory of Physiology; A.K. Mavridis, MD, Professor of Microbiology, Laboratory of Microbiology; T.D. Filippatos, MD, Fellow of Internal Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine; S. Vasakos, Biochemist, Laboratory of Microbiology; S.N. Nikas, MD, Fellow of Rheumatology; A.A. Drosos, MD, Professor of Medicine/Rheumatology, Rheumatology Clinic, Department of Internal Medicine, Medical School, University of Ioannina.

Address reprint requests to Dr. D.N. Kiortsis, Laboratory of Physiology, Medical School, University of Ioannina, 45110 Ioannina, Greece. E-mail: dkiorts@cc.uoi.gr

Accepted for publication December 29, 2005.




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