High Levels of Certain Inflammatory Markers in Sarcoidosis May Predict Systemic Hypertension in Sarcoidosis

Patricia Inácio, PhD avatar

by Patricia Inácio, PhD |

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Sarcoidosis with certain inflammatory markers could lead to systemic hypertension

For patients with sarcoidosis, high levels of inflammatory markers may predict systemic hypertension (sHTN), high blood pressure in the systemic arteries that carry blood from the heart to the body’s tissues — but little was known about the relationship, until recently.

The study, “The Association between ESR and CRP and Systemic Hypertension in Sarcoidosis,” published in the International Journal of Hypertension, investigated the relationship between the degree of systemic inflammation measured by various inflammatory markers and sHTN in sarcoidosis patients.

Researchers from the University of Miami, in Florida, and Mercy Medical Center in Clinton, Ill., conducted the retrospective observational study using 108 adults who were diagnosed with sarcoidosis  at the University of Illinois between January 2010 and January 2015. The patients were divided into two groups, according to positive or negative diagnosis of underlying systemic hypertension.

The inflammatory markers tested in the study included serum erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), C-reactive protein (CRP), albumin, ferritin, angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE), and 25OH vitamin D.

Researchers observed among the group of sarcoidosis patients (average age 53 and nearly 80% female), that 55 had systemic hypertension; the other 53 patients had normal blood pressure. Of the inflammatory markers, researchers found that serum ESR was highly associated with systemic hypertension among subjects with sarcoidosis. Patients with systemic hypertension presented ESR levels of 48.8 mm/hr, while normotensive showed values around 23.2 mm/hr. CRP values also showed a tendency for higher mean values in the systemic hypertension group.

Additionally, researchers observed that ESR and CRP worked as independent predictors for systemic hypertension among subjects with sarcoidosis.

In agreement with previous studies, ESR and CRP levels were found to be higher in sarcoidosis patients when compared to controls. In the new study, differences were almost twice as high in hypertensive subjects compared with non-hypertensive patients.

Researchers concluded that more intense inflammatory responses occurs in sarcoidosis patients, and that it may contribute to the development of systemic hypertension in those patients; sarcoidosis patients should be closely monitored when presenting high levels of inflammatory markers, particularly ESR and CRP.