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1.  Association of Early Repolarization Pattern on ECG with Risk of Cardiac and All-Cause Mortality: A Population-Based Prospective Cohort Study (MONICA/KORA) 
PLoS Medicine  2010;7(7):e1000314.
In a population-based cohort study of middle-aged people in Central Europe, Stefan Kääb and colleagues find an association between electrocardiographic early repolarization pattern and mortality risk.
Early repolarization pattern (ERP) on electrocardiogram was associated with idiopathic ventricular fibrillation and sudden cardiac arrest in a case-control study and with cardiovascular mortality in a Finnish community-based sample. We sought to determine ERP prevalence and its association with cardiac and all-cause mortality in a large, prospective, population-based case-cohort study (Monitoring of Cardiovascular Diseases and Conditions [MONICA]/KORA [Cooperative Health Research in the Region of Augsburg]) comprised of individuals of Central-European descent.
Methods and Findings
Electrocardiograms of 1,945 participants aged 35–74 y, representing a source population of 6,213 individuals, were analyzed applying a case-cohort design. Mean follow-up was 18.9 y. Cause of death was ascertained by the 9th revision of the International Classification of Disease (ICD-9) codes as documented in death certificates. ERP-attributable effects on mortality were determined by a weighted Cox proportional hazard model adjusted for covariables. Prevalence of ERP was 13.1% in our study. ERP was associated with cardiac and all-cause mortality, most pronounced in those of younger age and male sex; a clear ERP-age interaction was detected (p = 0.005). Age-stratified analyses showed hazard ratios (HRs) for cardiac mortality of 1.96 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.05–3.68, p = 0.035) for both sexes and 2.65 (95% CI 1.21–5.83, p = 0.015) for men between 35–54 y. An inferior localization of ERP further increased ERP-attributable cardiac mortality to HRs of 3.15 (95% CI 1.58–6.28, p = 0.001) for both sexes and to 4.27 (95% CI 1.90–9.61, p<0.001) for men between 35–54 y. HRs for all-cause mortality were weaker but reached significance.
We found a high prevalence of ERP in our population-based cohort of middle-aged individuals. ERP was associated with about a 2- to 4-fold increased risk of cardiac mortality in individuals between 35 and 54 y. An inferior localization of ERP was associated with a particularly increased risk.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Cardiovascular diseases—disorders that affect the heart and the circulation—are the leading cause of death in the developed world. About half of cardiovascular deaths occur when the heart suddenly stops pumping (sudden cardiac arrest). The muscular walls of the four heart chambers contract in a set pattern to pump blood around the body. The heart's internal electrical system controls the rate and rhythm of these contractions and, if this system goes wrong, an abnormal heart beat or “arrhythmia” develops. Some arrhythmias—in particular, ventricular fibrillation in which the walls of the two lower heart chambers quiver or “fibrillate” instead of pumping—can cause sudden cardiac arrest and immediate loss of consciousness. Death follows within minutes in 95% of cases but immediate cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR; chest compression to pump the heart and inflation of the lungs by mouth-to-mouth resuscitation) can keep a person alive until a defibrillator can be used to restore the normal heart beat. People who survive sudden cardiac arrest can be given anti-arrhythmia drugs or have a pacemaker implanted to stabilize their heart beat.
Why Was This Study Done?
The beating heart generates tiny electric waves that can be detected by electrodes on the skin. The pattern of these waves (an electrocardiogram or ECG) provides information about the heart's health. One wave pattern that is often seen on ECGs is the “early repolarization pattern” (ERP), which some studies suggest is associated with an increased risk of cardiac death. Here, the researchers investigate the prevalence of ERP (the proportion of a population with ERP) and its association with death from heart-related problems (cardiac mortality) and from any cause (all-cause mortality) in the MONICA/KORA prospective, population-based case-cohort study. The MONICA Project (MONitoring of Trends and Determinants in CArdiovascular Disease) has studied cardiovascular disease in 10 million people in 21 countries; KORA denotes the study done in the Augsburg region of Germany. In a prospective study, specific baseline characteristics of the study's participants are determined and the participants are followed to see who experiences a predefined outcome. A case-cohort study investigates a randomly selected subcohort (subgroup) of the original participants of a study and any participants who experience the predefined outcome instead of all the participants.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers selected 1945 MONIKA/KORA participants aged 35–74 years from a source population of about 6,000 people using a case-cohort study design. They analyzed the ECGs (recorded in 1984–1985 or 1989–1990) of this subcohort and ascertained the cause of death for those participants who died during the 18.9 year average follow-up. The overall prevalence of ERP in the study was 13.1%, report the researchers, and ERP was associated with cardiac mortality, particularly among younger and male participants. Specifically, among men and women aged 35–54 years, having ERP was associated with a nearly doubled risk of cardiac death. Among men aged 35–54 years, having ERP was associated with an increase in the risk of cardiac death by 2.65-fold. An ERP localized to the bottom of the heart (inferior localization) was associated with an increased risk of cardiac death among both sexes by more than 3-fold and among men by more than 4-fold in this age group. Finally, ERP was also significantly associated with an increased risk of all-cause mortality but less strongly than with cardiac mortality.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings suggest that the prevalence of ERP among the middle-aged people in the MONICA/KORA study is high (and somewhat higher than previously reported). They also show a clear association between ERP and the risk of cardiac death among 35–54-year-old people, particularly among men, but because of the study design, these findings do not show that ERP actually causes cardiac death; it could simply be a susceptibility marker. The researchers note that the increased risk of cardiac death associated with ERP is of a similar size to that associated with some other ECG abnormalities. However, although it might be worth paying special attention to young people with an inferior localization of ERP, finding ERP in a person without symptoms and without a family history of sudden cardiac death should not lead to further investigations or any preventative therapy, they suggest, because the absolute risk of cardiac arrest in such people is very low.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at
The US National Heart Lung and Blood Institute provides information on cardiovascular conditions, including sudden cardiac arrest and on arrhythmias
The American Heart Association also information on sudden cardiac death and on arrhythmias
The German Cardiac Society (Deutsche Gesellschaft fr Kardiologie) and the German Heart Foundation (Deutsche Herzstiftung) provide further information (in German) on cardiovascular conditions
The Heart Rhythm Foundation provides information on all aspects of heart arrhythmia
The Fondation Leducq Alliance Against Sudden Cardiac Death provides information on sudden cardiac arrest
MedlinePlus provides links to other resources about cardiac arrest and arrhythmias (in English and Spanish)
The MedlinePlus Encyclopedia has a page on electrocardiograms (in English and Spanish)
The Nobel Foundation provides an interactive electrocardiogram game
More information about the MONICA project and the KORA Study or is available
PMCID: PMC2910598  PMID: 20668657
2.  Inflammation and Albuminuria in HIV-infected Patients Receiving Combination Antiretroviral Therapy 
The observed higher prevalence of albuminuria among HIV-infected patients has been strongly associated with cardiovascular disease and higher mortality. In HIV-seronegative patients with metabolic syndrome, malignancies and infections, pro-inflammatory cytokines, and acute phase reactants have been associated with albuminuria. However, the pathophysiology of albuminuria in HIV-seropositive individuals is poorly understood. We investigated the association of albuminuria with inflammatory biomarkers among HIV-infected patients on combination antiretroviral therapy.
This is a cross-sectional analysis of the entry data of the participants enrolled in the Hawai‘i Aging with HIV-Cardiovascular Cohort. Participants were ≥ 40 years old, lived in Hawai‘i, documented HIV-positive, and had been on antiretroviral therapy for at least 6 months prior to recruitment. Albuminuria was defined as urine albumin-to-creatinine ratio (ACR) of 30 mg/g or higher, as assessed from single random urine collection. Microalbuminuria was defined as urine ACR between 30 and 300 mg/g and macroalbuminuria as urine ACR more than 300 mg/g. Plasma inflammatory biomarkers were assessed by multiplexing using Milliplex Human Cardiovascular Disease panels. Differences in clinical and laboratory characteristics between subjects with and without albuminuria were compared using a non-parametric Wilcoxon rank test for continuous variables and a chi-squared test for categorical variables. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were utilized to assess the association between presence of albuminuria as the dependent variable and plasma biomarkers as independent variables. Log-transformed plasma inflammatory biomarkers with P-value less than .1 in univariate logistic regression analysis were selected for examination in separate multivariate logistic regression models, adjusting for previously reported risk factors for albuminuria (age, gender, race, diabetes, hypertension, CD4 percent, current ritonavir, and tenofovir use).
Among a cohort of 111 HIV-infected patients (median age of 52 (Q1: 46, Q3: 57); male 86%; diabetes 6%; hypertension 33%; median CD4 count of 489 cells/mm3(Q1:341, Q3: 638); HIV RNA PCR < 48 copies/ml 85%), eighteen subjects (16.2%) had microalbuminuria, and two subjects (1.8%) had macroalbuminuria. There was no significant difference in CD4 count and HIV viral loads between patients with and without albuminuria. In univariate logistic regression analysis, higher levels of log-transformed soluble E-selectin (sE-selectin), soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 (sVCAM-1), tissue plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (tPAI-1), C-reactive protein (CRP), serum amyloid A (SAA), serum amyloid P (SAP), interleukin-1β, interleukin-8, and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) were associated with albuminuria (P < .10). In multivariate logistic regression models, sE-selectin, sVCAM-1, tPAI-1, CRP, and SAP remained significant (P < .05) even after adjustment for previously reported risk factors for albuminuria.
This study has shown an association between inflammation and albuminuria independent of previously reported risk factors for albuminuria in HIV-infected subjects on stable combination antiretroviral therapy. Chronic low-grade inflammation despite potent antiretroviral treatment may be one of the factors causing higher rates of albuminuria among HIV-infected patients. Future studies are needed to further elucidate the pathophysiologic mechanisms of chronic inflammation in HIV and its impact on kidney disease.
PMCID: PMC4175929
3.  The Sweet Spot: Continued Search for the Glycemic Threshold for Macrovascular Disease—A Retrospective Single Center Experience 
ISRN Cardiology  2012;2012:874706.
Background. Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) is a common complication of diabetes mellitus and impaired fasting glucose (IFG). We hypothesized that the relation of fasting glucose levels to ASCVD is linear, with the prevalence of clinical ASCVD beginning to increase even among individuals currently categorized as normoglycemic. Methods. Patient charts were retrospectively reviewed from our Dyslipidemic Preventive Cardiology Clinic. We evaluated the prevalence of ASCVD relative to fasting glucose levels in a cross-section of patients at high risk for ASCVD. Results. In 558 dyslipidemic patients, ASCVD prevalence increased with increasing fasting glucose levels. A significantly higher prevalence of ASCVD was observed among patients with fasting glucose levels between 90 and 99 mg/dL versus lower levels. As glucose levels increased from 90 to 125 mg/dL, the prevalence of ASCVD continued to rise in parallel. Logistic regression analysis with forward likelihood ratio stepwise selection indicated that individuals with fasting blood glucose of 90–99 mg/dL were 2.6 times more likely to have ASCVD than those with lower levels of fasting blood glucose. Conclusion. Our findings suggest that the current cutoff for impaired fasting glucose of 100 mg/dL may be somewhat conservative and that a level above 90 mg/dL may be more appropriate as an ASCVD risk factor, particularly in patients with a lipid disorder.
PMCID: PMC3477768  PMID: 23097721
4.  Risk stratification in unstable angina and non-Q wave myocardial infarction using soluble cell adhesion molecules 
Heart  2001;85(6):623-627.
OBJECTIVE—To assess prospectively the prognostic value of soluble cellular adhesion molecules (CAMs) in patients with unstable angina and non-Q wave myocardial infarction and to compare their prognostic accuracy with that of C reactive protein (CRP).
DESIGN AND SETTING—Prospective observational study of patients presenting acutely with unstable angina and non-Q wave myocardial infarction to a single south Dublin hospital.
METHODS—Patients with Braunwald IIIA unstable angina and non-Q wave myocardial infarction had serum samples taken at presentation before initiation of antithrombotic treatment and were followed for six months. The primary end point was the occurrence of major adverse cardiovascular events (recurrent unstable angina, non-fatal myocardial infarction, and cardiovascular death) at six months. Concentrations of soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (sICAM-1), soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (sVCAM-1), soluble endothelial selectin, and soluble platelet selectin were measured using an enzyme linked immunosorbent assay technique. CRP was measured with an immunophelometric assay.
RESULTS—91 patients (73 men and 18 women, mean (SD) age 61 (11) years) were studied; 27 patients (30%) had major adverse cardiac events during the six months of follow up. Concentration of CRP were significantly raised in patients who had an ischaemic event (mean (SEM) 11.5 (6.4) mg/l v 5.4 (2.5) mg/l, p < 0.001). Concentrations of sVCAM-1 were also significantly raised in the ischaemic event group (979 (30) ng/ml v 729 (22) ng/ml, p < 0.001). Both sVCAM-1 and CRP concentrations correlated strongly with the occurrence of an adverse event. The sensitivity of CRP > 3 mg/l and sVCAM-1 > 780 ng/ml for predicting future events was > 90%. There was no difference in concentrations of sICAM-1, soluble endothelin selectin, or soluble platelet selectin between event and non-event groups.
CONCLUSION—Raised concentrations of sVCAM-1 and CRP are predictive of an increased risk of major adverse cardiovascular events six months after presentation with unstable angina and non-Q wave myocardial infarction. These findings suggest that the intensity of the vascular inflammatory process at the time of presentation is a determinant of clinical outcome in unstable coronary artery disease. 

Keywords: cell adhesion molecules; risk stratification; unstable angina
PMCID: PMC1729754  PMID: 11359739
5.  Assessment of the E-Selectin rs5361 (561A>C) Polymorphism and Soluble Protein Concentration in Acute Coronary Syndrome: Association with Circulating Levels 
Mediators of Inflammation  2014;2014:158367.
Introduction. The acute coronary syndrome (ACS) is a complex disease where genetic and environmental factors are involved. E-selectin gene is a candidate for ACS progression due to its contribution in the inflammatory process and endothelial function. The rs5361 (561A>C) polymorphism in the E-selectin gene has been linked to changes in gene expression, affinity for its receptor, and plasmatic levels; therefore it is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. The aim of this study was to determine the association of the rs5361 polymorphism with ACS and to measure serum levels of soluble E-selectin (sE-selectin). Materials and Methods. 283 ACS patients and 205 healthy subjects (HS) from Western Mexico were included. The polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism was used to determine the rs5361 polymorphism. The sE-selectin levels were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Results. Neither genotype nor allele frequencies of the rs5361 polymorphism showed statistical differences between groups. The sE-selectin levels were significantly higher in ACS patients compared to HS (54.58 versus 40.41 ng/ml, P = 0.02). The C allele had no effect on sE-selectin levels. Conclusions. The rs5361 E-selectin gene polymorphism is not a susceptibility marker for ACS in Western Mexico population. However, sE-selectin may be a biological marker of ACS.
PMCID: PMC4132325  PMID: 25147432
6.  Association of inflammatory and endothelial cell activation biomarkers with acute kidney injury after sepsis 
SpringerPlus  2014;3:207.
Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a sequela of sepsis associated with increased morbidity and mortality. We sought to determine if individuals with elevated baseline levels of inflammation and endothelial cell activation are at increased risk for future AKI after sepsis.
We conducted an analysis of individuals developing sepsis in the national 30,239 subject REGARDS cohort. Biomarkers measured at the beginning of an 8-year observation period included high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP), interleukin-6 (IL-6), tumor necrosis factor (TNF-α), E-selectin, inter-cellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1), and urinary Albumin-to-creatinine ratio (ACR). We defined subsequent sepsis as hospitalization for a serious infection with ≥2 Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (SIRS) criteria. We excluded patients with prior dialysis or kidney transplantation, or those receiving less than two serum creatinine (sCr) measurements during hospitalization. We defined AKI as an increase in sCr ≥0.3 mg/dL from the initial sCr measurement, or the initiation of hemodialysis. Using logistic regression, we evaluated the associations between AKI and biomarker quartiles, adjusting for comorbidities.
We identified 212 sepsis cases encompassing 41 (19.3%) AKI. Elapsed time from biomarker measurement to sepsis episode was 3.1 years (IQR 1.6-4.5). Compared with non-AKI, AKI individuals exhibited higher TNF-α (9.4 vs. 6.2 pg/mL, p = 0.003) and ACR (504.82 vs 61.81 mg/g, p < 0.001). hsCRP, IL-6, E-selectin, ICAM-1 and VCAM-1 were similar between AKI and non-AKI. After adjustment for confounders, AKI after sepsis was more likely in those with higher E-selectin (adjusted ORs 2.91 (0.95-8.93), 1.99 (0.61-6.47), 4.01 (1.30-12.35), test of linear trend p = 0.04), and higher ACR (adjusted ORs 2.29 (0.99-5.30), 10.67 (3.46-32.90), test of linear trend p < 0.001). Baseline hsCRP, TNF-α, IL-6, VCAM-1 and ICAM-1 were not associated with AKI after sepsis.
Elevated baseline levels of E-selectin and ACR are associated with future AKI in the setting of sepsis. Baseline inflammatory and endothelial activation biomarkers may be useful for predicting future risk of AKI in sepsis.
PMCID: PMC4018475  PMID: 24826374
Acute kidney injury (AKI); Biomarkers; Endothelium; Inflammation; Sepsis
7.  Circulating soluble E-selectin in early rheumatoid arthritis: a prospective five year study 
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  2002;61(3):242-246.
Background: Soluble E-selectin (sE-selectin) is a marker of activation of vascular endothelium.
Objective: To examine serum levels of sE-selectin in a cohort of 85 patients with early rheumatoid arthritis (RA) followed up for five years.
Methods: sE-selectin levels were assessed annually using an enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and related to simultaneously obtained clinical and laboratory measures. Joint inflammation was evaluated by active joint count, functional status by Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ), and radiographic findings in hands and feet by the Larsen method. Laboratory tests included serum C reactive protein (CRP) level, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, blood haemoglobin level, white blood cell count (WBC), and platelet count. Area under the curve (AUC) was calculated for each variable, and Jonckheere's test for ordered alternatives was applied to assess significance of association between sE-selectin AUC tertiles and other variables. Baseline sE-selectin tertiles were related to change in Larsen score and HAQ score at five years. Odds ratios (OR) with 95% confidence interval (CI) were calculated using univariate and multivariate logistic regression.
Results: sE-selectin levels were associated with CRP level (p=0.012), WBC (p=0.037), active joint count (p=0.019), progression of joint destruction (p=0.038), and HAQ score at five years (p=0.021), but not with extra-articular symptoms or comorbidity. Baseline sE-selectin levels in the third tertile predicted the HAQ score at five years (OR 4.18, 95% CI 1.15 to 15.22). sE-selectin levels of patients did not differ significantly from those of healthy control subjects.
Conclusion: The degree of activation of vascular endothelium is associated with activity and outcome of early RA.
PMCID: PMC1754031  PMID: 11830430
8.  Protein Biomarkers of New-Onset Cardiovascular Disease: A Prospective Study from the Systems Approach to Biomarker Research in Cardiovascular Disease (SABRe CVD) Initiative 
Incorporation of novel plasma protein biomarkers may improve current models for prediction of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) risk.
Approach and Results
We utilized discovery mass spectrometry (MS) to determine plasma concentrations of 861 proteins in 135 myocardial infarction (MI) cases and 135 matched controls. We then measured 59markers by targeted MS in 336 ASCVD case-control pairs. Associations with MI or ASCVD were tested in single marker and multimarker analyses adjusted for established ASCVD risk factors.
Twelve single markers from discovery MS were associated with MI incidence (at p<0.01) adjusting for clinical risk factors. Seven proteins in aggregate (cyclophilin A, CD5 antigen-like, cell surface glycoprotein MUC18, collagen-alpha 1 [XVIII] chain, salivary alpha-amylase 1, C-reactive protein, and multimerin-2) were highly associated with MI (p<0.0001) and significantly improved its prediction compared to a model with clinical risk factors alone (C-statistic of 0.71 vs. 0.84). Through targeted MS, twelve single proteins were predictors of ASCVD (at p<0.05) after adjusting for established risk factors. In multimarker analyses, four proteins in combination (alpha-1-acid glycoprotein 1, paraoxonase 1, tetranectin, and CD5 antigen-like, predicted incident ASCVD (p<0.0001) and moderately improved the C-statistic from the model with clinical covariates alone (C-statistic of 0.69 vs. 0.73).
Proteomics profiling identified single and multimarker protein panels that are associated with new onset ASCVD and may lead to a better understanding of underlying disease mechanisms. Our findings include many novel protein biomarkers that, if externally validated, may improve risk assessment for MI and ASCVD.
PMCID: PMC4061732  PMID: 24526693
Biomarker; cardiovascular disease; epidemiology; myocardial infarction; proteomics
9.  Effects of TNF-alpha antagonism on E-selectin in obese subjects with metabolic dysregulation 
Clinical endocrinology  2010;73(1):48-54.
Endothelial adhesion molecules like E-selectin play an important role in leukocyte recruitment and development of atherosclerotic plaque. E-selectin is increased in obesity, yet little is known regarding the specific factors contributing to elevated E-selectin in obesity and whether tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) increases E-selectin in vivo in this population. The objectives of this study were to: 1) determine the body composition, metabolic and inflammatory factors associated with increased E-selectin, and 2) determine the role of TNF-alpha in the physiological regulation of E-selectin by antagonism of TNF-alpha with etanercept among obese subjects.
E-selectin levels, body composition, metabolic parameters and inflammatory cytokines were assessed in 51 obese subjects and 37 non-obese healthy controls. Obese subjects were randomized to etanercept 50 mg weekly or placebo for four weeks. Changes in E-selectin were compared between treatment groups.
Obese subjects had higher E-selectin than non-obese controls (47.4 [32.7 – 58.8] vs. 27.2 [20.3 – 42.1] ng/mL, obese vs. non-obese, p<0.0001). E-selectin was significantly associated with multiple body composition measures and metabolic parameters, along with specific measures of TNF-alpha activation, including soluble tumor necrosis factor receptors 1 (p=0.03) and 2 (p=0.02). In multivariate modeling, visceral adipose tissue, but not other measures of body composition, remained significantly associated with E-selectin. Among obese subjects, treatment with etanercept significantly decreased E-selectin (−5.7 ± 8.7 vs. 0.5 ± 6.0 ng/mL, etanercept vs. placebo, p=0.005).
E-selectin is increased in obesity, in relationship to increased visceral adiposity and markers of TNF-alpha activation. TNF-alpha antagonism with etanercept reduces E-selectin in obese subjects, providing evidence that the systemic circulatory release of E-selectin is regulated at least in part by TNF-alpha in obesity.
PMCID: PMC2891313  PMID: 19878508
obesity; inflammation; tumor necrosis factor-alpha; E-selectin
10.  Aldosterone and cortisol affect the risk of sudden cardiac death in haemodialysis patients 
European Heart Journal  2012;34(8):578-587.
Sudden cardiac death is common and accounts largely for the excess mortality of patients on maintenance dialysis. It is unknown whether aldosterone and cortisol increase the incidence of sudden cardiac death in dialysis patients.
Methods and results
We analysed data from 1255 diabetic haemodialysis patients participating in the German Diabetes and Dialysis Study (4D Study). Categories of aldosterone and cortisol were determined at baseline and patients were followed for a median of 4 years. By Cox regression analyses, hazard ratios (HRs) were determined for the effect of aldosterone, cortisol, and their combination on sudden death and other adjudicated cardiovascular outcomes. The mean age of the patients was 66 ± 8 years (54% male). Median aldosterone was <15 pg/mL (detection limit) and cortisol 16.8 µg/dL. Patients with aldosterone levels >200 pg/mL had a significantly higher risk of sudden death (HR: 1.69; 95% CI: 1.06–2.69) compared with those with an aldosterone <15 pg/mL. The combined presence of high aldosterone (>200 pg/mL) and high cortisol (>21.1 µg/dL) levels increased the risk of sudden death in striking contrast to patients with low aldosterone (<15 pg/mL) and low cortisol (<13.2 µg/dL) levels (HR: 2.86, 95% CI: 1.32–6.21). Furthermore, all-cause mortality was significantly increased in the patients with high levels of both hormones (HR: 1.62, 95% CI: 1.01–2.62).
The joint presence of high aldosterone and high cortisol levels is strongly associated with sudden cardiac death as well as all-cause mortality in haemodialysed type 2 diabetic patients. Whether a blockade of the mineralocorticoid receptor decreases the risk of sudden death in these patients must be examined in future trials.
PMCID: PMC3578266  PMID: 23211232
Aldosterone; Cortisol; Sudden cardiac death; Cardiovascular events; Mortality; Kidney disease
11.  Pre-existing endothelial cell activation predicts vasoplegia after mitral valve surgery† 
Post-cardiac surgery vasoplegia is a common complication of cardiac surgery, characterized by profound loss of systemic vascular resistance. This results in severe hypotension, high cardiac output and metabolic acidosis reflecting inadequate tissue perfusion. The pathophysiological mechanisms underlying this syndrome remain unknown. We hypothesized that this vasoplegia reflects endothelial dysfunction, either as pre-existing condition or as a consequence of the surgical procedure.
To examine these mechanisms, six established and distinct markers of endothelial cell activation were measured pre- and perioperatively in patients undergoing mitral valve surgery. Arterial (radial artery) and myocardial venous blood samples (coronary sinus) were collected simultaneously over the reperfused heart at various time points during the first hour after reperfusion. Additional samples were collected at baseline (brachial vein) and 1 day post-reperfusion (radial artery). Post-cardiac surgery vasoplegia was defined as a mean arterial blood pressure of <60 mmHg, with a cardiac index of ≥2.2 l/min/m2 treated with continuous intravenous administration of norepinephrine.
No myocardial release of endothelial cell activation markers was observed upon reperfusion in patients with vasoplegia (n = 15; mean age 71 years, 73% male). In contrast, in patients without vasoplegia (n = 24; mean age 64 years, 54% male), reperfusion was characterized by a myocardial release of three endothelial cell activation markers. Myocardial von Willebrand Factor propeptide, osteoprotegerin and interleukin-8 were increased 107% (P < 0.001), 106% (P = 0.02) and 116% (P = 0.009), respectively, compared with arterial levels upon reperfusion. Similar systemic levels of all markers were found upon reperfusion in both groups, except for 120% increased soluble P-selectin (sP-selectin) levels in vasoplegia patients (P = 0.03). Remarkably, postoperative vasoplegia was identified with baseline von Willebrand Factor propeptide levels with a cut-off value of 11.9 nM as well as with baseline sP-selectin levels with a cut-off value of 64.4 ng/ml.
Pre-existing endothelial cell activation, reflected by higher baseline von Willebrand Factor propeptide and sP-selectin levels, is a predisposing factor for post-cardiac surgery vasoplegia. The pre-existing endothelial cell activation may have resulted in desensibilization of endothelium in patients who develop vasoplegic syndrome, resulting in no myocardial release of endothelial cell activation markers upon reperfusion.
PMCID: PMC3745151  PMID: 23736659
Endothelial cell activation; Surgery; Vasoplegia
12.  Good Glycemic Control Is Associated with Better Survival in Diabetic Patients on Peritoneal Dialysis: A Prospective Observational Study 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(1):e30072.
The effect of glycemic control after starting peritoneal dialysis (PD) on the survival of diabetic PD patients has largely been unexplored, especially in Asian population.
We conducted a prospective observational study, in which 140 incident PD patients with diabetes were recruited. Patients were divided into tertiles according to the means of quarterly HbA1C levels measured during the first year after starting PD. We examined the association between HbA1C and all-cause mortality using Cox proportional hazards models.
The mean age was 58.7 years, 59.3% were male, and the mean follow-up duration was 3.5 years (range 0.4–9.5 years). The mean HbA1C levels were 6.3%, 7.1%, and 8.5% in the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd tertiles, respectively. Compared to the 1st tertile, the all-cause mortality rates were higher in the 2nd [hazard ratio (HR), 4.16; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.91–18.94; p = 0.065] and significantly higher in the 3rd (HR, 13.16; 95% CI, 2.67–64.92; p = 0.002) tertiles (p for trend = 0.005), after adjusting for confounding factors. Cardiovascular mortality, however, did not differ significantly among the tertiles (p for trend = 0.682). In contrast, non-cardiovascular deaths, most of which were caused by infection, were more frequent in the 2nd (HR, 7.67; 95% CI, 0.68–86.37; p = 0.099) and the 3rd (HR, 51.24; 95% CI, 3.85–681.35; p = 0.003) tertiles than the 1st tertile (p for trend = 0.007).
Poor glycemic control is associated with high mortality rates in diabetic PD patients, suggesting that better glycemic control may improve the outcomes of these patients.
PMCID: PMC3264549  PMID: 22291903
13.  Modulation of P-selection and platelet aggregation in chronic periodontitis: A clinical study 
The primary etiologic factor of periodontitis is the subgingival infection with a group of Gram negative pathogens. Transient bacteremia in periodontitis patients underlie chronic production and systemic increases of various proinflammatory mediators, including Interleukin (IL)-1α, IL-6, C-reactive protein and Tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α. P- selectin is a member of selectin family of cell surface receptor which is located in the membrane of the secretory granules (alpha granules) of platelets and in the membrane of the Weibel-Palade bodies of the vascular endothelial cells. P selectin redistributes from the membrane of the granules to the plasma membrane when platelets and endothelial cells are activated and thus degranulated.
To compare the level of platelet activation, soluble P Selectin level and morphological changes and aggregation of platelets in patients in periodontitis patients compared to healthy controls.
Materials and Methods:
80 patients were included in the study with the age group of 35-60. The patients were divided into 2 groups, 40 subjects with generalized chronic periodontitis and 40 healthy subjects taken as control. Periodontal Examination using clinical parameters namely, Bleeding Index, Plaque Index, Probing Pocket Depth and Clinical Attachment Level were recorded. Collection of blood samples for estimation of serum soluble P- selectin level by ELISA method. Evaluation of Platelet morphology and grading the platelet aggregation.
P-selectin expression shows that the mean value for control group is 4.97 ± 16.56 ng/mL and study group 13.05 ± 29.94 ng/mL which was significantly higher than control group with P value 0.001. Platelet morphological changes shows small form – mean value for control group is 75.83% ± 14.24% while for study group is 39.08%. ± 21.59; Big form – mean value for control group 0.80% ± 0.35% while for study group 0.48% ± 1.3%and Spider form- mean value for control group 23.88% ± 14.13 while study group 59.32% ±. 23.42. The observation showed high statistical significance with P- value < 0.001 for small and spider form and no statistical significance for big form P = 0.075.
Increased expression of P-selectin, spider form of platelets and pathological aggregation pattern which indicates that platelet activation may be associated with chronic periodontitis. The results of the study showed, higher number of spider forms and significant pathological aggregation pattern in periodontitis patients which indicates activation of platelets thus emphasized that periodontitis can be an contributing factor in the development of cardiovascular disease.
PMCID: PMC4095619  PMID: 25024540
Chronic periodontitis; platelet aggregation; P selectin
14.  Effects of miglitol in platelet-derived microparticle, adiponectin, and selectin level in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus 
Platelet-derived microparticles (PDMP), selectins, and adiponectin play an important role in the development of atherosclerosis in diabetes. Miglitol has been shown to have a beneficial effect on postprandial hyperglycemia in diabetic patients. However, its influence on platelet activation markers (PDMP and soluble CD40 ligand [sCD40L]), selectins, and adiponectin in these patients is poorly understood.
We investigated the effect of miglitol on circulating levels of PDMP, sCD40L, selectins, and adiponectin in patients with type 2 diabetes.
Miglitol (150 mg/day) was administered for 4 months. Levels of PDMP, sCD40L, soluble P-selectin (sP-selectin), soluble E-selectin (sE-selectin), soluble L-selectin (sL-selectin), and adiponectin were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay at baseline, and after 1 and 4 months of treatment.
The levels of PDMP, sCD40L, sP-selectin, sE-selectin, and sL-selectin were higher in diabetic patients than in hypertensive patients, while there were no significant differences between hypertensive and hyperlipidemic patients. Before miglitol treatment, the adiponectin level of diabetic patients was lower than that of hypertensive patients. Miglitol therapy significantly decreased the plasma PDMP and sCD40L levels relative to baseline. Miglitol also caused a significant decrease of sP-selectin, sE-selectin, and sL-selectin. On the other hand, miglitol therapy led to a significant increase in adiponectin after 4 months of administration compared with baseline. Furthermore, the reduction of platelet activation markers and selectins during miglitol therapy was significantly greater in the responder (adiponectin-improved) group than the nonresponder group of diabetic patients.
Miglitol has an adiponectin-dependent anti-atherothrombotic effect that may be beneficial for primary prevention of atherothrombosis in patients with type 2 diabetes.
PMCID: PMC3150178  PMID: 21845063
platelet activation markers; atherothrombosis; platelet-derived microparticles; PDMP
15.  P-selectin deficiency exacerbates experimental glomerulonephritis: a protective role for endothelial P-selectin in inflammation 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1999;103(5):649-659.
P-selectin is a leukocyte adhesion receptor present in endothelial cells and platelets. We examined the role of P-selectin in the autologous phase of an accelerated model of anti-glomerular basement membrane (GBM) glomerulonephritis using P-selectin–deficient mice and chimeric mice expressing P-selectin only in platelets or endothelial cells. P-selectin–deficient mice exhibited more severe glomerular damage with increased interstitial mononuclear leukocytic infiltrates, and had significantly increased proteinuria and mortality when compared to wild-type mice. P-selectin on the endothelium was predominantly responsible for protection from the exacerbated disease, because chimeric mice with endothelial P-selectin, and not mice with platelet P-selectin, showed glomerular injury similar to that in wild-type animals. Levels of soluble circulating P-selectin were increased in nephritic wild-type mice and in chimeric mice with endothelial P-selectin, but not platelet P-selectin. Levels of soluble P-selectin, which has been shown to be anti-inflammatory in vitro, were inversely associated with the severity of disease. P-selectin was not expressed in the endothelium of the glomerulus or interstitium. Thus, the protective effect in wild-type mice may be accounted for, in part by soluble P-selectin shed by non-renal endothelial cells, although other endothelial P-selectin–dependent mechanisms cannot be ruled out.
J. Clin. Invest. 103:649–659 (1999)
PMCID: PMC408121  PMID: 10074481
16.  Serum Inflammatory Biomarkers and Plaque Inflammation Assessed by 18F-Fluorodeoxyglucose Positron Emission Tomography/Computed Tomography in the dal-PLAQUE Study 
JACC. Cardiovascular imaging  2013;6(10):10.1016/j.jcmg.2013.03.009.
To longitudinally investigate the relationship between a broad spectrum of serum inflammatory biomarkers and plaque inflammation assessed by 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography (18F-FDG PET/CT).
Both plaque inflammation and serum biomarkers of inflammation are associated with atherothrombotic events; however, the relationship between them is unclear.
We conducted a post-hoc analysis of the dal-PLAQUE study – a randomized, placebo-controlled study of dalcetrapib, a cholesteryl ester transfer protein inhibitor, in 130 patients with coronary heart disease, or coronary heart disease risk equivalents on stable lipid-lowering therapy. Baseline and change after 3 months’ follow-up in inflammatory biomarker levels, and baseline and change after 3 months’ follow-up in aorta and carotid 18F-FDG PET/CT (mean maximum target to background ratio of the most diseased segment (TBRmds), were analyzed.
Baseline myeloperoxidase (MPO) positively correlated with baseline carotid TBRmds (rho 0.25, p = 0.02). This correlation remained at 3 months’ and was independent of traditional cardiovascular disease risk factors. Baseline lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 mass correlated with aorta TBRmds (rho 0.21, p = 0.03). However, this correlation disappeared at 3 months’ and was not independent of cardiovascular disease risk factors. There was no association between change from baseline in MPO or lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 mass and change from baseline in aorta and carotid TBRmds. Baseline and change from baseline in high sensitivity C-reactive protein, interleukin 6, soluble P-selectin, soluble E-selectin, soluble intracellular adhesion molecule 1, soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule 1, and matrix-metalloproteinase 3 and 9 did not correlate with baseline or change from baseline in carotid or aorta TBRmds.
Our data show that, in patients with coronary heart disease or at high risk of coronary heart disease on stable lipid-lowering therapy, circulating MPO levels are associated with carotid plaque inflammation.
PMCID: PMC3831277  PMID: 24135322
Inflammatory biomarkers; 18F-Fluorodeoxyglucose Positron Emission Tomography; Atherosclerosis
17.  Atherosclerosis in early rheumatoid arthritis: very early endothelial activation and rapid progression of intima media thickness 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2010;12(4):R158.
In this study we aimed to investigate whether there are indications of premature atherosclerosis, as measured by endothelial dependent flow-mediated dilation (ED-FMD) and intima media thickness (IMT), in patients with very early RA, and to analyze its relation to biomarkers of endothelial dysfunction, taking inflammation and traditional cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors into account.
Patients from the three northern counties of Sweden diagnosed with early RA are followed in an ongoing prospective study of CVD co-morbidity. Of these, all patients aged ≤60 years were consecutively included in this survey of CVD risk factors (n = 79). Forty-four age and sex matched controls were included. IMT of common carotid artery and ED-FMD of brachial artery were measured using ultrasonography. Blood was drawn for analysis of lipids, erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), C-reactive protein (CRP), plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1), tissue plasminogen activator (tPA)-mass, VonWillebrand factor (VWF), soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (sICAM), soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (sVCAM), sE-selectin, sL-selectin and monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1). In a subgroup of 27 RA patients and their controls the ultrasound measurements were reanalysed after 18 months.
There were no significant differences between RA patients and controls in terms of IMT or ED-FMD at the first evaluation. However after 18 months there was a significant increase in the IMT among the patients with RA (P < 0.05). Patients with RA had higher levels of VWF, sICAM-1 (P < 0.05) and of MCP-1 (P = 0.001) compared with controls. In RA, IMT was related to some of the traditional CVD risk factors, tPA-mass, VWF (P < 0.01) and MCP-1 and inversely to sL-selectin (P < 0.05). In RA, ED-FMD related to sL-selectin (P < 0.01). DAS28 at baseline was related to PAI-1, tPA-mass and inversely to sVCAM-1 (P < 0.05) and sL-selectin (P = 0.001).
We found no signs of atherosclerosis in patients with newly diagnosed RA compared with controls. However, in patients with early RA, IMT and ED-FMD were, to a greater extent than in controls, related to biomarkers known to be associated with endothelial dysfunction and atherosclerosis. After 18 months, IMT had increased significantly in RA patients but not in controls.
PMCID: PMC2945061  PMID: 20712865
18.  Circulating intercellular adhesion molecule-1 and E-selectin levels in gastric cancer. 
British Journal of Cancer  1998;78(2):267-271.
A diversity of adhesive interactions occur between the cancer cell and host extracellular matrix which potentiate neoplastic expansion and metastatic dissemination. In miscellaneous malignant diseases, tumour progression has been observed to be associated with alterations in adhesion molecule expression. Recently, circulating soluble intercellular adhesion molecules have been identified. In this study, serum levels of soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (sICAM-1) and soluble E-selectin (sE-selectin) were determined in patients with gastric cancer. The study group consisted of 27 patients with previously untreated gastric adenocarcinoma. Four patients had stage II, two patients stage III and 21 patients stage IV disease according to the TNM classification. Nineteen patients had distant metastasis. The sera obtained from 18 healthy volunteers served as controls. Serum sICAM-1 and sE-selectin concentrations were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). In addition, we also studied other tumour-associated antigens, i.e. CEA and CA 19-9. Serum sICAM-1 levels were significantly increased in patients with gastric cancer (P < 0.0001). However, sE-selectin levels did not differ from the controls. sICAM-1 concentrations were also significantly higher in patients with distant metastasis and peritoneal spread (P = 0.0045 and P = 0.0157 respectively), whereas sE-Selectin levels were elevated only in patients with peritoneal metastasis (P = 0.033). Serum concentrations of sICAM-1 and sE-selectin correlated with CEA levels (P = 0.0013 and P = 0.003 respectively). Elevated levels of sE-selectin were associated with poorer prognosis (P = 0.0099), whereas sICAM-1 had no significant impact on survival. Our results suggest that increased sICAM-1 serum levels may reflect widespread disease and contribute directly to the progression of gastric cancer. Further investigation of the molecular mechanisms of adhesive tumour-host interactions may lead to a better understanding of the natural history of gastric cancer.
PMCID: PMC2062905  PMID: 9683305
19.  Fenofibrate improves endothelial function and plasma myeloperoxidase in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus: an open-label interventional study 
Fenofibrate offers a number of benefits on the cardiovascular system and it is plausible that its anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and anti-fibrotic effects and enhancement of cardiac metabolic performances may account for its direct cardioprotective effects.
In this study we aimed to investigate the effect of fenofibrate on endothelial function assesed by vascular studies and levels of soluble E-selectin (sE-selectin) as well as the effect on plasma myeloperoxidase (MPO) in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) without previous use of lipid-lowering medication.
27 patients (14 men and 13 women) with T2DM and good glycemic control (HbA1c: min 5.9%, max: 7.1%) treated with metformin monotherapy, without previous use of lipid-lowering medication were enrolled in this study. Vascular studies included measures of brachial artery diameter before and after release of a suprasystolic ischemia. FMD was calculated as the percent (%) change in arterial diameter following reactive hyperemia. Student’s paired t test and Wilcoxon Signed Ranks Test were used to compare values before and after fenofibrate therapy.
Fenofibrate therapy significantly increased post ischemia mean brachial artery diameter at 60 s (from 4.7 [4.4; 5.0] mm to 4.9 [4.6; 5.2] mm, p = 0.01) and at 90 s (from 4.7 [4.4; 5.0] mm to 4.9 [4.6; 5.1], p = 0.02). FMD response to hyperaemia at 60 s increased with 4.5 ± 13.7% (median value pre- treatment: 22.2%, median value post- treatment 25.0%, z = −2.9, p = 0.004). After 8 weeks of fenofibrate therapy, plasma MPO levels decreased to 49.5 [30.3; 71.5] ng/ml (% change from baseline = 4.6%, z = −2.2, p = 0.03) and mean plasma sE-selectin levels decreased to 67.1 [54.4; 79.8] ng/ml, (% change from baseline = 2.6%, p = 0.03).
In patients with T2DM without previous treatment for dyslipidemia, short-term treatment with fenofibrate improved vascular endothelial function as demonstrated by increased post ischemia mean brachial artery diameter, increased FMD and decreased plasma sE-selectin and favorably affected plasma MPO levels. Therefore, fenofibrate may be considered a protective cardiovascular drug in this group of patients.
Trial registration
(Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ANZCTR12612000734864)
PMCID: PMC3974011  PMID: 24594096
Fenofibrate; Myeloperoxidase; Endothelial dysfunction; sE-selectin; Type 2 diabetes
20.  Validation of the pooled cohort risk score in an Asian population – a retrospective cohort study 
The Pooled Cohort Risk Equation was introduced by the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and American Heart Association (AHA) 2013 in their Blood Cholesterol Guideline to estimate the 10-year atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) risk. However, absence of Asian ethnicity in the contemporary cohorts and limited studies to examine the use of the risk score limit the applicability of the equation in an Asian population. This study examines the validity of the pooled cohort risk score in a primary care setting and compares the cardiovascular risk using both the pooled cohort risk score and the Framingham General Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) risk score.
This is a 10-year retrospective cohort study of randomly selected patients aged 40–79 years. Baseline demographic data, co-morbidities and cardiovascular (CV) risk parameters were captured from patient records in 1998. Pooled cohort risk score and Framingham General CVD risk score for each patient were computed. All ASCVD events (nonfatal myocardial infarction, coronary heart disease (CHD) death, fatal and nonfatal stroke) occurring from 1998–2007 were recorded.
A total of 922 patients were studied. In 1998, mean age was 57.5 ± 8.8 years with 66.7% female. There were 47% diabetic patients and 59.9% patients receiving anti-hypertensive treatment. More than 98% of patients with pooled cohort risk score ≥7.5% had FRS >10%. A total of 45 CVD events occurred, 22 (7.2%) in males and 23 (3.7%) in females. The median pooled cohort risk score for the population was 10.1 (IQR 4.7-20.6) while the actual ASCVD events that occurred was 4.9% (45/922). Our study showed moderate discrimination with AUC of 0.63. There was good calibration with Hosmer-Lemeshow test χ2 = 12.6, P = 0.12.
The pooled cohort risk score appears to overestimate CV risk but this apparent over-prediction could be a result of treatment. In the absence of a validated score in an untreated population, the pooled cohort risk score appears to be appropriate for use in a primary care setting.
PMCID: PMC4246627  PMID: 25410585
Pooled cohort risk score; Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease; Validation; Asian population; Framingham risk score; Cardiovascular events; Primary care; Retrospective cohort; Malaysia
21.  Modulation of cardiometabolic pathways in skin and serum from patients with psoriasis 
Moderate-to-severe psoriasis is associated with an increased risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD); however, the link is poorly understood.
Skin and serum from patients with psoriasis were evaluated to understand if there was evidence of dysregulation in a targeted group of inflammatory and lipid genes related to ASCVD. Microarray analyses of expression of targeted ASCVD genes from skin in 89 patients with moderate-to-severe psoriasis from the ACCEPT trial were compared with non-diseased skin from healthy controls (n = 25). Serum (n = 149) was tested at baseline for monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1), macrophage-derived chemokine (MDC), and apolipoprotein-A1 (Apo-A1) comparing to healthy controls (n=162).
An increase in skin gene expression for MCP-1 (7.98-fold) and MDC (6.66-fold) (p < 0.001 each) was observed in lesional versus healthy skin. Significant decreases in liver X receptor-alpha (LXR-α) (−5.94-fold), a protective lipoprotein metabolism gene, and in peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-alpha (PPAR-α) (−7.58-fold), a protective anti-inflammatory and lipid modulating gene, were observed in lesional versus healthy skin (p < 0.001 each). Serum analyses revealed that MCP-1 (502 vs. 141 pg/mL) and MDC (1240 vs. 409 pg/mL) levels were significantly elevated in psoriasis compared with healthy controls (p < 0.001 each). Dysregulated lipid metabolism was also evident in the serum, as Apo-A1, a protein product related to PPAR-α activation, was significantly decreased in patients with psoriasis compared with healthy controls (25.2 vs. 38.9 mg/dL; p < 0.001).
Analyses of targeted genes and their products known to be associated with ASCVD revealed dysregulation of inflammatory (MCP-1 and MDC) and lipid metabolism (LXR-α, PPAR-α) genes in psoriasis. These findings provide evidence of a potential shared pathophysiology linking psoriasis to cardiometabolic diseases.
PMCID: PMC3765699  PMID: 23965158
Inflammation; Atherosclerosis; Lipid metabolism; Psoriasis
22.  Prognostic Significance of Increased Left Ventricular Mass Index to Mortality and Sudden Death in Patients with Stable Coronary Heart Disease (From the Heart & Soul Study) 
The American journal of cardiology  2008;102(9):1131-1135.
There is limited data on the significance of LV hypertrophy or mass in coronary heart disease (CHD), particularly in the setting of normal ejection fraction (EF). We evaluated the association of LV mass index with all-cause mortality and sudden death in a cohort with CHD. Using transthoracic echocardiography, we measured LV mass, normalized to body surface area, in 1016 subjects with stable CHD. Cox proportional hazards models were used to examine the association of LV mass index and LV hypertrophy (LV mass index > 95 g/m2 in women and > 115 g/m2 in men) with time to death and time to sudden or arrhythmic death. The mean LV mass index was 101 ± 27 gm/m2 in men and 88 ± 23 gm/m2 in women. During a mean follow-up of 3.55 years, there were 146 deaths and 34 sudden or arrhythmic deaths. Total mortality was higher in subjects with LV hypertrophy (25% vs 11%, p < 0.001), as was mortality from sudden or arrhythmic death (6.7% vs. 2.2%, p = 0.001). After adjustment for age, sex, cardiovascular risk factors and medical therapy, LV hypertrophy was associated with both all-cause mortality (HR 2.0, p < 0.001) and sudden or arrhythmic death (HR 3.1, p = 0.003). Findings were similar in the subgroup with EF ≥ 55% (mortality HR 1.8, p = 0.02; sudden and arrhythmic death HR 3.1, p = 0.02). When analyzed as a continuous variable, every 20-unit increase in LV mass index increased the adjusted hazard of death 22% (p =0.001) and adjusted hazard of sudden or arrhythmic death 40% (p = 0.004). In conclusion, in patients with stable CHD, increased LV mass index is independently associated with all-cause mortality and sudden or arrhythmic death, even in the subjects with normal EF.
PMCID: PMC2583450  PMID: 18940278
23.  A Variant In the Abo Gene Explains the Variation in Soluble E-Selectin Levels—Results from Dense Genotyping in Two Independent Populations 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(12):e51441.
Elevated soluble (s) E-selectin levels have been associated with various cardiovascular diseases. Recently, genetic variants in the ABO blood group have been related to E-selectin levels in a small cohort of patients with type 1 diabetes. We evaluated whether this association is reproducible in two large samples of Caucasians.
Methodology/ Principal Findings
Data of the present study was drawn from the population-based MONICA/KORA Augsburg study (n = 1,482) and the patients-based LURIC study (n = 1,546). A high-density genotyping array (50K IBC Chip) containing single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from E-selectin candidate genes selected on known biology of E-selectin metabolism, mouse genetic studies, and human genetic association studies, was used for genotyping. Linear regression analyses with adjustment for age and sex (and survey in KORA) were applied to assess associations between gene variants and sE-selectin concentrations. A number of 12 SNPs (in KORA) and 13 SNPs (in LURIC), all from the ABO blood group gene, were significantly associated with the log-transformed concentration of E-selectin. The strongest association was observed for rs651007 with a change of log-transformed sE-selectin per one copy of the minor allele of −0.37 ng/ml (p = 1.87×10−103) in KORA and −0.35 ng/ml (p = 5.11×10−84) in LURIC. Inclusion of rs651007 increased the explained sE-selectin variance by 0.256 in KORA and 0.213 in LURIC. All SNPs had minor allele frequencies above 20% showing a substantial gene variation.
Conclusions/ Significance
Our findings in two independent samples indicate that the genetic variants at the ABO locus affect sE-selectin levels. Since distinct genome-wide association studies linked the ABO gene with myocardial infarction (MI) in the presence of coronary atherosclerosis and with coronary artery disease, these findings may not only enhance our understanding of adhesion molecule biology, but may also provide a focus for several novel research avenues.
PMCID: PMC3532506  PMID: 23300549
24.  Elevation of serum soluble E-selectin and VCAM-1 in severe asthma. 
Mediators of Inflammation  2001;10(6):339-342.
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the significance of circulating adhesion molecules associated with leucocyte-endothelial cell interactions in asthma, serum levels of soluble E (sE)-selectin, soluble P (sP)-selectin, soluble L (sL)-selectin, and soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (sVCAM-1) were measured in mild, moderate and severe asthma. METHOD: Serum levels of sE-selectin, sP-selectin, sL-selectin, and sVCAM-1 were measured in 32 women with asthma and 30 healthy donors using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay method. Twenty patients were suffering from severe asthma, and 12 from mild/moderate asthma. RESULTS: Serum sE-selectin and sVCAM-1 levels from patients with asthma were significantly higher than those observed in healthy donors (p < 0.01). The levels of sP-selectin were the same as those of controls. The level of sE-selectin exhibited an important increase in the severe asthmatic patients compared with mild/moderate asthma (p < 0.01). The sVCAM-1 level was increased in severe asthma when compared with healthy controls. There was no correlation between the levels of soluble selectins and the age of the patients. A significant correlation was found between sE-selectin and sVCAM-1 levels. CONCLUSION: These data indicate that circulating soluble forms of the selectins may have different kinetics during the clinical course of asthma, suggesting that they may reflect different inflammatory pathways in severe asthma. Both sVCAM-1 and sE-selectin may be useful immunological markers for monitoring disease activity in asthma.
PMCID: PMC1781724  PMID: 11817675
25.  Peripheral augmentation index and vascular inflammation in autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease 
Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation  2011;26(8):2515-2521.
Background. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of premature mortality in autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD). We examined peripheral augmentation index (AIx) as a measure of systemic vascular function and circulating markers of vascular inflammation in patients with ADPKD.
Methods. Fifty-two ADPKD patients with hypertension and estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) <60 mL/min/1.73 m2, 50 ADPKD patients with hypertension and eGFR ≥60 mL/min/1.73 m2, 42 normotensive ADPKD patients with eGFR ≥60 mL/min/1.73 m2 and 51 normotensive healthy controls were enrolled in this study. AIx was measured from peripheral artery tone recordings using finger plethysmography. Serum levels of soluble intercellular adhesion molecule (ICAM)-1, vascular cell adhesion molecule-1, P-selectin, E-selectin, soluble Fas (sFas) and Fas ligand (FasL) were measured as markers of vascular inflammation.
Results. AIx was higher in all three patient groups with ADPKD compared to healthy controls (P < 0.05). AIx was similar between the normotensive ADPKD patients with eGFR ≥60 mL/min/1.73 m2 and hypertensive ADPKD patients with eGFR <60 mL/min/1.73 m2 (P > 0.05). ICAM, P-selectin, E-selectin and sFas were higher and FasL lower in all ADPKD groups compared to controls (P < 0.05). ICAM, P-selectin and E-selectin were similar between the normotensive ADPKD patients with eGFR ≥60 mL/min/1.73 m2 and hypertensive ADPKD patients with eGFR < 60 mL/min/1.73 m2 (P > 0.05). According to multiple regression analysis, predictors of AIx in ADPKD included age, height, heart rate and mean arterial pressure (P < 0.05). Vascular inflammatory markers were not predictors of AIx in ADPKD.
Conclusions. Systemic vascular dysfunction, manifesting as an increase in AIx and vascular inflammation is evident in young normotensive ADPKD patients with preserved renal function. Vascular inflammation is not associated with elevated AIx in ADPKD.
PMCID: PMC3203395  PMID: 21292815
hypertension; inflammation; kidney disease; vascular function

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