Rudolf Schicho, Gunther Marsche and Martin Storr Pages 181 - 188 ( 8 )
Over the past years, a growing number of studies have indicated that patients suffering from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) have an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Both are chronic inflammatory diseases and share certain pathophysiological mechanisms that may influence each other. High levels of cytokines, C-reactive protein (CRP), and homocysteine in IBD patients may lead to endothelial dysfunction, an early sign of atherosclerosis. IBD patients, in general, do not show the typical risk factors for cardiovascular disease but changes in lipid profiles similar to the ones seen in cardiovascular events have been reported recently. Higher levels of coagulation factors frequently occur in IBD which may predispose to arterial thromboembolic events. Finally, the gut itself may have an impact on atherogenesis during IBD through its microbiota. Microbial products are released from the inflamed mucosa into the circulation through a leaky barrier. The induced rise in proinflammatory cytokines could contribute to endothelial damage, artherosclerosis and cardiovascular events. Although large retrospective studies favor a link between IBD and cardiovascular diseases, the mechanisms behind still remain to be determined.
Cardiovascular diseases, coronary artery disease, Crohn’s disease, dyslipidemia, endotoxins, LPS, thromboembolism, ulcerative colitis.
Institute of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology, Medical University of Graz, Austria.