A magnetic resonance imaging follow-up study of lumbar arteries among patients with sciatica with chronic Chlamydia pneumoniae infection.
To determine whether chronic infection causes occlusion of lumbar arteries.
C. pneumoniae infection is associated with coronary heart disease, and the infectious pathogen has also been detected in abdominal aortic aneurysms and in atherosclerotic plaques. No studies are available on the effect of this infectious agent on lumbar arteries.
Chronic infection was defined as persistent high positive immunoglobulin G and/or immunoglobulin A antibodies and/or the presence of immune complexes. The lumbar arteries, evaluated with two-dimensional time-of-flight magnetic resonance angiography, were scored as normal, narrowed, or occluded. The differences in the segmental and whole lumbar spine (segments L1-L4) sum of arterial occlusion at baseline and at 3 years, and the incidence of new arterial stenosis were compared in patients with and without chronic infection using the Kolmogorov-Smirnov test.
Patients with chronic infection were more likely to be persistent smokers (P = 0.006), male (P = 0.04), and more obese (P = 0.02) compared to patients with normal antibody levels. They had significantly higher degree of arterial stenosis at L4 segment at baseline and at 3 years (P = 0.001 and 0.002, respectively), in the whole lumbar spine at baseline and at 3 years (P