A their disease were included in this study.

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Last updated: September 13, 2019

A total of 21 patients clinically diagnosed with TAO in2009 and 2010 were selected for this study at the refer-ral vascular and endovascular department of EmamReza Hospital in the north-east of Iran. For each subject10 mL of blood samples were taken after obtaininginformed consent. The study protocol was approved bythe Ethics Committee for Clinical Research of the Mash-had University of Medical Sciences (No: 900133). The clinical diagnostic criteria for inclusion wereShionoya’s criteria: age of disease onset before 50 years,history of cigarette smoking, upper-limb involvementor thrombophlebitis migrans, infrapopliteal arterialocclusion and absence of other atherosclerotic risk fac-tors other than smoking.8 We assessed traditional ath-erosclerosis risk factors9 including blood pressure,fasting blood sugar and total cholesterol in this study.

Systolic blood pressure below 12 mmHg, diastolicblood pressure below 8 mmHg, fasting blood sugar< 90 mg/dL, and total cholesterol < 180 mg/dL wereconsidered as the upper limits for this assessment.10Patients who were in acute phases of their disease wereincluded in this study. Suffering from burning pain atrest, with or without gangrene, was the key sign for con-sideration of the acute phase of the disease. A group of 20 age-matched male healthy smokersand a group of 17 age-matched male healthy non- International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases 2014; 17: 106–112 107 Buerger's disease sera activate endothelial cells B. Fazeli et al. smokers were also chosen as a healthy smoker and non-smoker control group, respectively.

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The number ofdaily smoked cigarettes and duration of smoking werealso matched between the TAO and smoker controlgroups. All of the patients and control smokers smokedfiltered cigarettes. Those patients who had given upsmoking at the time of blood sampling were excludedfrom the study. Since all TAO patients in this study werefrom low socioeconomic status, based on our suggestiveindices, including poverty line, hygiene, education, pro-fessional occupation and long-term unemployment,11the two control groups were also matched based ontheir socioeconomic status. For this reason, the num-bers in our control groups became limited. Precise clini-cal examination, including vascular examination, wasperformed for each control subject before blood sam-pling in order to rule out any site of inflammation orany type of peripheral vascular disease. All of the TAOpatients and the control group participants were Cauca-sian males.


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