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Multiscale biology of cardiovascular risk in psoriasis: Protocol for a case-control study

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BACKGROUND: Patients with psoriasis have increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) independent of traditional risk factors. The molecular mechanisms underlying the psoriasis-CVD connection are not fully understood. Advances in high-throughput molecular profiling technologies and computational analysis techniques offer new opportunities to improve the understanding of disease connections.

OBJECTIVE: We aim to characterize the complexity of cardiovascular risk in patients with psoriasis by integrating deep phenotypic data with systems biology techniques to perform comprehensive multiomic analyses and construct network models of the two interacting diseases.

METHODS: The study aims to include 120 adult patients with psoriasis (60 with prior atherosclerotic CVD and 60 without CVD). Half of the patients are already receiving systemic antipsoriatic treatment. All patients complete a questionnaire, and a medical interview is conducted to collect medical history and information on, for example, socioeconomics, mental health, diet, and physical exercise. Participants are examined clinically with assessment of the Psoriasis Area and Severity Index and undergo imaging by transthoracic echocardiography, 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography (18F-FDG-PET/CT), and carotid artery ultrasonography. Skin swabs are collected for analysis of microbiome metagenomics; skin biopsies and blood samples are collected for transcriptomic profiling by RNA sequencing; skin biopsies are collected for immunohistochemistry; plasma samples are collected for analyses of proteomics, lipidomics, and metabolomics; blood samples are collected for high-dimensional mass cytometry; and feces samples are collected for gut microbiome metagenomics. Bioinformatics and systems biology techniques are utilized to analyze the multiomic data and to integrate data into a network model of CVD in patients with psoriasis.

RESULTS: Recruitment was completed in September 2020. Preliminary results of 18F-FDG-PET/CT data have recently been published, where vascular inflammation was reduced in the ascending aorta (P=.046) and aortic arch (P=.04) in patients treated with statins and was positively associated with inflammation in the visceral adipose tissue (P<.001), subcutaneous adipose tissue (P=.007), pericardial adipose tissue (P<.001), spleen (P=.001), and bone marrow (P<.001).

CONCLUSIONS: This systems biology approach with integration of multiomics and clinical data in patients with psoriasis with or without CVD is likely to provide novel insights into the biological mechanisms underlying these diseases and their interplay that can impact future treatment.


Original languageEnglish
Article numbere28669
JournalJMIR research protocols
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
©Hannah Kaiser, Amanda Kvist-Hansen, Christine Becker, Xing Wang, Benjamin D McCauley, Martin Krakauer, Peter Michael Gørtz, Kristoffer Mads Aaris Henningsen, Claus Zachariae, Lone Skov, Peter Riis Hansen.

    Research areas

  • bioinformatics, cardiovascular disease, cardiovascular imaging, lipidomics, mass cytometly, microbiome, proteomics, psoriasis, study protocol, system biology

ID: 70537000