Despite the relation between autoimmune diseases and increased atherosclerotic risk is established, the influence of autoimmune disorders on in-stent restenosis (ISR) after percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) is only partly known. ISR is an aberrant reparative process mainly characterized by an increased number of vascular smooth muscle cells and excessive deposition of extracellular proteoglycans and type III collagen. Chronic inflammation, always present in autoimmune diseases, modulates the endothelial response to PCI. Aim of this review is to resume the current evidence on the association between ISR and autoimmune diseases, focusing on pathogenic mechanisms and therapeutic targets.
We conducted a comprehensive review of the literature on the relationship between ISR and insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), antiphospholipid-antibodies syndrome (APS), inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (HT).
Patients affected with IDDM, RA, SLE, APS, IBD and HT proved to face higher rates of ISR compared to the general population. The endothelial dysfunction seems the principal common pathogenic pathway for ISR and is attributed to both the immune system disorder and the systemic inflammation. Some evidence suggested that methotrexate and anti-tumor necrosis factor treatments can be effective in reducing ISR, while antibodies against vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 and intercellular adhesion molecule-1 showed to reduce neointimal hyperplasia in animal models.
Autoimmune diseases are a risk factor for ISR. The study of the potential cardiovascular benefits of the current therapies, mainly anti-inflammatory drugs, and the pursuit of innovative treatments appear of paramount interest.

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