BACKGROUND: The quantification of circulating endothelial cells (CECs) in whole blood is an increasingly recognized index of endothelial damage/dysfunction. Abnormal CECs have been linked to the severity of coronary artery disease (CAD). OBJECTIVE: We assessed the relationship of CECs to other markers of endothelial dysfunction (von Willebrand factor (vWF) and soluble E-selectin (sEsel)) during exercise stress testing (EST) in a cohort of patients with suspected CAD. METHODS: We studied a cohort of patients referred to our chest pain clinic with a history of exertional chest pain. Treadmill EST was performed, using a full Bruce exercise protocol. Blood for CECs (immunobead method), vWF and sEsel (both ELISA) were collected immediately before (pre-exercise), immediately following exercise, and at 30 minutes post-EST. RESULTS: We studied 31 patients (84% male; mean (SD) age 58.4 (9.8) years). Of the entire cohort, 14 patients (45.2%) had a positive EST. Exercise led to significant increases in levels of CECs, sEsel, vWF, white blood cells (WBC), heart rate, mean and systolic blood pressure compared with base-line (all P <0.05). There was a significant correlation between the change (delta (immediate post-pre-exercise)) in CECs and delta vWF (r = 0.45; 95% CI 0.11-0.69: P = 0.01) and delta sEsel (r = 0.41; 0.05-0.7: P = 0.02), as well as between delta vWF and delta sEsel (r = 0.55; 0.25-0.76: P = 0.001). Neither absolute nor delta CEC counts were predictive of exercise work-load/functional capacity, nor the presence of positive EST results. CONCLUSION: EST led to a significant increase in endothelial markers (CECs, vWF, and sEsel) compared with base-line levels. The rise in CECs correlated with the increases in other endothelial markers, but was not related to the either exercise workload/capacity or to the presence of a positive EST.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Annals of Medicine|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2008|
- von Willebrand factor
- coronary artery disease
- circulating endothelial cells
- exercise test