Could there be an association between chronic brucellosis and endothelial damage?
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Introduction: In this study, we examined the effects of Brucella infection on endothelial dysfunction. Flow-mediated dilatation (FMD) measurement is indicator of the endothelial function, and abnormal values indicating endothelial dysfunction are accepted as the first stage of atherosclerosis. Methodology: Twenty-four patients who had been treated for acute brucellosis two years before, and who had had no relapses in the follow-up, were prospectively included in the study, along with 30 healthy individuals in the control group. Results: While the highly sensitive Creactive protein (hs-CRP) value was 2.42 +/- 1.45 in the patient group, it was 1.72 +/- 0.61 in the control group (p = 0.025). While the FMD value was 3.50 +/- 1.58 in the patient group, it was 5.88 +/- 1.88 in the control group (p < 0.001). While the percentage increase in FMD was 9.88 +/- 4.92 in the patient group, it was 17.49 +/- 6.3 in the control group (p < 0.001). It was observed that FMD value, the percentage increase in FMD, and basal radius were correlated with hs-CRP (r = -0.644, p < 0.001; r = -0.558, p = 0.002; r = 0.444, p = 0.018, respectively). The carotid artery intima media thickness (IMT) value was found to be 0.61 +/- 0.17 in the patient group and 0.49 +/- 0.12 in the control group (p = 0.004). Conclusions: The abnormal FMD and IMT values observed in brucellosis patients might be an indicator of more frequent arterial dysfunction, increased cardiovascular risk, and atherosclerosis.