Influence of systemic manifestations of inflammatory bowel diseases on endothelial function and cardiovascular risk

Minerva Med. 2021 Apr 29. doi: 10.23736/S0026-4806.21.06970-6. Online ahead of print.

Mariabeatrice Principi 1Pietro Scicchitano 2 3Sonia Carparelli 1Rosa Nitti 3Roberta Ruggieri 3Maria Consiglia Bellino 3Annagrazia Cecere 3Fabio Manca 4Alfredo DI Leo 1Marco M Ciccone 3


Author information

  • 1Gastroenterology Unit, Department of Emergency and Organ Transplantation (DETO), University of Bari, Bari, Italy.
  • 2Cardiovascular Diseases Section, Hospital F. Perinei, Altamura, Bari, Italy - piero.sc@hotmail.it.
  • 3Cardiovascular Diseases Section, Department of Emergency and Organ Transplantation (DETO), University of Bari, Bari, Italy.
  • 4Department of Science of Educational, Psychology, and Communication, University of Bari, Bari, Italy.


Background: Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) may be complicated by extraintestinal manifestations (EIM). Both conditions may be implicated in the overall increase of cardiovascular (CV) risk profile of the patients. The study aimed to assess CV risk in IBD patients with EIMs in relation to the stages of both diseases.

Methods: A total of 70 (38 men, mean age 51.7±12.4 years) patients with IBD and 22 controls (12 men, mean age 49.2±13.6 years) were enrolled. All patients and controls were screened for extraintestinal manifestations and underwent physical and anthropometric examinations, standard laboratory investigations, ultrasound evaluation of carotid arteries and flow-mediated vasodilatation (FMD). Patients were divided into four groups in relation to their active or remission stage of disease: 1. IBD+ EIM+; 2. IBD+ EIM-; 3. IBD- EIM+; 4. IBD- EIM-.

Results: The groups were homogenous according to their clinical characteristics. Patients with both IBD and EIM in active phase showed significantly lower values in FMD than controls (p=0.024). Carotid intima-media thickness values (cIMT) were similar among groups. Patients with active phases of IBD and/or EIM showed statistically significant lower values in FMD measurements (p=0.0008 and p=0.0011, respectively). Multivariate regression did not reveal any independent predictors for FMD values.

Conclusions: The active phase of IBD or EIM or both may promote endothelial dysfunction in patients, thus increasing their CV risk profile. Patients in remission phase showed endothelial function similar at controls.

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