Antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) is an autoimmune disease defined by accelerated atherosclerosis, arterial and venous thrombosis, fetal loss, and the presence of antiphospholipid antibodies (aPL) in the serum and which leads to the occurrence of various vascular events. Nonspecific abdominal pain can be one of the symptoms due to changes on visceral blood vessels. The goal of our work is to show the results we obtained in multidetector computed tomography (MDCT) angiography examination of visceral arteries, comparing patients with primary antiphospholipid syndrome (PAPS) and secondary antiphospholipid syndrome (SAPS) with control group. In this study, we analyzed 50 patients with primary PAPS and 50 patients, with secondary SAPS. The results were compared to 50 patients in the control group. The groups were compared in terms of age, gender, and the most common risk factors except for the lipid status, since controls had significantly higher levels of cholesterol and triglycerides. The study was conducted on 64-MDCT, on which we analyzed quantitative and morphological characteristics of the blood vessel lesions. Patients from the control group had statistically significant elevation of cholesterol and triglyceride levels compared to the patients with SAPS and PAPS (p < 0.001 and p < 0.05). The results showed that the frequency of changes is statistically (p < 0.05 and p < 0.001) more common in patients with PAPS and SAPS than in the control group. Statistically significant difference between the groups was found in superior and inferior mesentery arteries. Analyzing the number of lesions, there was statistically high difference between the patients with one and two lesions than in patients with four or more lesions (p < 0.001), lower difference compared to the patients with three lesions (p < 0.01), while there was low, but yet statistically important difference between the patients with three lesions and those with five or more blood vessel lesions (p < 0.05). Analyzing percentage of diameter stenosis, we established that the lesions in the groups of 0–30% diameter stenosis (DS) and 30–50% DS in patients with PAPS (n = 42) and SAPS (n = 44) are more common than in the control group (n = 18, p < 0.05). Analyzing the qualitative characteristics of plaques, we established significantly higher frequency of soft tissue and mixed lesions than calcified ones in patients with PAPS and SAPS (p < 0.001; p < 0.05). Our study showed that the subclinical manifestation of the changes on visceral arteries is more common in patients with APS. Patients with abdominal pain were those with two or more lesions, and according to our results, majority had PAPS. Because of its safety and accuracy, the method of choice is MDCT angiography in monitoring the progression of disease.
Immunologic Research – Springer Journals
Published: Nov 13, 2017
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