J Rheum Dis 2017; 24(4): 185-191  
Augmentation Index in Connective Tissue Diseases
Joon Hyouk Choi1, Jinseok Kim2
1Division of Cardiology, 2Division of Rheumatology, Department of Internal Medicine, Jeju National University Hospital, Jeju National University School of Medicine, Jeju, Korea
Correspondence to: Joon Hyouk Choi, Division of Cardiology, Department of Internal Medicine, Jeju National University Hospital, Jeju National University School of Medicine, 15 Aran 13-gil, Jeju 63241, Korea. E-mail:valgom@naver.com
Received: June 23, 2017; Revised: August 1, 2017; Accepted: August 4, 2017; Published online: August 31, 2017.
© Korean College of Rheumatology. All rights reserved.

This is a open Access article, which permits unrestricted non-commerical use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Abstract
Atherosclerosis and its complications are often reported in patients with connective tissue diseases (CTDs) showing chronic inflammation. Traditional cardiovascular risk factors do not account for accelerated atherosclerosis in patients with CTDs. Inflammation, although non-traditional, is considered one of the risk factors for endothelial dysfunction, atrial stiffness, and atherosclerosis. Therefore, it is essential to evaluate other risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD) in patients with CTDs. The interest in pulse wave analysis (PWA) is growing because of its predictive value for CVD. The arterial pressure waveform is a composite of an incidental wave produced by a ventricular contraction and a reflected wave. The wave reflection can be quantified using the augmentation index (AIx); it is defined as the difference between the inflection and peak systolic pressure, and expressed as a percentage of the pulse pressure. The PWA is represented by AIx. Risk score systems, such as the Framingham scoring system, were correlated with AIx. Many studies have analyzed the ability of the AIx to predict the CAD severity in the general population. In patients with CTDs, the AIx was found to increase compared to a healthy control group. The AIx was related to the activity of CTDs. The treatment for inflammation appeared to improve the AIx in some CTDs. Although more studies will be needed to obtain conclusive evidence, AIx is expected to be a prognostic factor or a risk factor for CVD in patients with CTDs.
Keywords: Pulse wave analysis, Connective tissue diseases, Atherosclerosis


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