For patients with psoriasis, ultrasound of the femoral arteries is more useful than ultrasound of the carotid arteries in identifying atherosclerosis, according to a research letter published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.
The study included participants with moderate to severe chronic plaque psoriasis (psoriasis area and severity index and body surface area >10) and healthy control patients matched 1:1 for age, sex, and body mass index (n=102). Each participant underwent B-Mode and Doppler ultrasound examination to examine femoral and carotid arteries bilaterally. The researchers defined atherosclerotic plaque as a focal structure encroaching at least 0.5 mm into the arterial lumen or having a thickness >50% of the surrounding intima-media thickness.
The results indicated that participants with psoriasis had a significantly higher prevalence of femoral plaques compared with control patients (P <.006). However, patients with psoriasis did not have a significantly higher number of carotid plaques.
For participants with psoriasis, the prevalence of femoral plaques was 2-fold higher than the prevalence of carotid plaques (P <.008).
“[C]lassical screening methods such as the Framingham risk score do not reliably evaluate the risk of coronary artery disease in [psoriasis] patients. Rigorous screening for atherosclerosis has therefore been proposed for these patients, and there is a need for a noninvasive, simple and widely available technique for this purpose,” the researchers wrote.
Gonzalez-Cantero A, Gonzalez-Cantero J, Sanchez-Moya AI, et al. Femoral artery ultrasound for improving the detection of artherosclerosis in psoriasis [published online July 16, 2018]. J Am Acad Dermatol. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2018.07.007