Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) represents the one of the most common inflammatory rheumatic diseases, which generates disability and significantly reduces the quality of life. RA can affect the vascular system, in addition to joint involvement. Vascular involvement increases the morbidity and mortality among these patients. Macrovascular disease, related to accelerated atherosclerosis, has a high prevalence among RA patients, in the form of carotid artery disease, ischemic heart disease, and peripheral arterial obstructive disease. Microvascular disease, studied in recent years by means of nailfold capillaroscopy, is present even in the early stage of RA evolution. Rheumatoid vasculitis can occur in severe forms of RA.
Part of the book: Rheumatoid Arthritis