Circulating Endothelial Cells as Potential Markers of Atherosclerosis
Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences
and Purpose:Vascular endothelial cell (VEC) injury represents a major initiating step in the process of atherosclerosis, which may lead to cerebral infarction. "Circulating endothelial cell" (CEC) is an index of ongoing endothelial injury, while intimal-medial thickness (IMT) detected by sounography was used to evaluate the severity of atherosclerosis. However, to our knowledge, there is no study that investigated the relationship of these two determinations. Our study was designed to address
... rrelate CEC with IMT.Methods and Results:The study population consisted of 30 patients with acute cerebral infarction (ACI) and 30 age-and sex-matched volunteers as controls. The CEC counts were determined using Hladovec's method. All subjects underwent a 2-dimensional ultrasound examination of both carotid arteries to measure IMT. CEC counts in ACI group were significantly increased compared with control group (4.88±2.14 cells /0.9μl vs 2.73±1.95/0.9μl,P0.01); IMT in ACI patients was also significantly thicker compared with volunteers (2.72±1.07 mm vs 1.73±0.99 mm,P<0.01). There was positive correlation between CEC counts and maximal carotid artery IMT in both groups (r=0.522,P<0.01 in ACI patients andr=0.395,P<0.05 in healthy volunteers).Conclusions:Circulating endothelial cell counts can directly reflect the vascular injury. CEC counts parallel IMT. The CEC may be an independent predictor of cerebral infarction.