Patients with chronic plaque-type psoriasis have increased levels of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) activity and mean carotid intima-media thickness (M-CIMT), according to a recent study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

ThE study matched 61 patients with moderate to severe plaque-type psoriasis with 61 healthy controls based on gender and age to measure and assess signs of subclinical atherosclerosis. Researchers used high-resolution B-mode duplex ultrasonography to identify M-CIMT ≥0.8 mm as a sign of subclinical atherosclerosis. They used the kinetic method to measure serum ACE levels at a reference value of 8-52 U/L. Other measures included baseline demographics (gender and age) and additional clinical features (body mass index, psoriasis area and severity index, duration of disease, and number of carotid plaques).

Median serum ACE and M-CIMT levels were higher in the psoriatic patients than the healthy controls (P <.05). Moreover, serum ACE levels positively correlated with M-CIMT levels in the psoriatic patients (r = 0.637; P <.0001). Subclinical atherosclerosis existed in less than half of the psoriatic patients (44.3%) and none of the healthy controls.

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The authors explain that their findings could corroborate existing evidence on how changes in serum ACE, the renin-angiotensin system, and vascular endothelium metabolism may cause or lead to signs of accelerated atherosclerosis in psoriatic patients.

as this study might be the first to measure the relationship between subclinical atherosclerosis and serum ACE levels in psoriatic patients, additional studies are needed to confirm the findings.

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Abdollahimajd F, Niknezhad N, Haghighatkhah HR, Namazi N, Niknejad N, Talebi A. Angiotensin converting enzyme and subclinical atherosclerosis in psoriasis: is there any association? A case-control studyJ Am Acad Dermatol. 2018; S0190-9622(18)32376-4.