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1.  Small Dense Low Density Lipoprotein Particles Are Associated with Poor Outcome after Angioplasty in Peripheral Artery Disease 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(9):e108813.
In patients suffering from symptomatic peripheral artery disease (PAD), percutaneous revascularization is the treatment of choice. However, restenosis may occur in 10 to 60% in the first year depending on a variety of factors. Small dense low density lipoprotein (sdLDL) particles are associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular events, but their role in the process of restenosis is not known. We conducted a prospective study to analyze the association of sdLDL particles with the outcome of balloon angioplasty in PAD. The composite primary endpoint was defined as improved walking distance and absence of restenosis.
Patients with angiographically documented PAD of the lower extremities who were scheduled for lower limb revascularization were consecutively recruited for the study. At baseline and at three month follow-up triglyceride, total cholesterol, LDL size and subclasses and HDL cholesterol and ankle-brachial index (ABI) were measured. Three months after the intervention duplex sonography was performed to detect restenosis.
Sixty-four patients (53% male) with a mean age of 68.6±9.9 years were included. The proportion of small- dense LDL particles (class III and IV) was significantly lower (33.1±11.0% vs. 39.4±12.1%, p = 0.038) in patients who reached the primary end-point compared with those who did not. Patients with improved walking distance and without restenosis had a significantly higher LDL size at baseline (26.6±1.1 nm vs. 26.1±1.1 nm, p = 0.046) and at follow-up (26.7±1.1 nm vs. 26.2±0.9 nm, p = 0.044) than patients without improvement.
Small-dense LDL particles are associated with worse early outcome in patients undergoing percutaneous revascularization for symptomatic PAD.
PMCID: PMC4181875  PMID: 25265512
2.  Small, Dense LDL Particles Predict Changes in Intima Media Thickness and Insulin Resistance in Men with Type 2 Diabetes and Prediabetes – A Prospective Cohort Study 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(8):e72763.
The association of small, dense low-density lipoprotein (sdLDL) particles with an increased cardiovascular risk is well established. However, its predictive value with regard to glucose metabolism and arterial disease in patients with type 2 diabetes has not been thoroughly investigated. We conducted a prospective longitudinal cohort study in patients with (pre)diabetes who were seen at baseline and after two years. sdLDL particles were determined by gradient gel electrophoresis. Insulin resistance was estimated by using the homeostatic model assessment 2 (HOMA2). Intima media thickness (IMT) and flow-mediated dilation (FMD) were assessed by ultrasound measurements. Fifty-nine patients (mean age 63.0 ± 12.2 years) were enrolled and 39 were seen at follow-up. IMT increased in the whole cohort during follow-up. The change in IMT was predicted by the proportion of sdLDL particles at baseline (p=0.03), and the change in FMD was predicted by LDL-cholesterol levels at baseline (p=0.049). HOMA2 and changes in HOMA2 correlated with the proportion of sdLDL particles and changes in this proportion, respectively (p<0.05 for both). Serum resistin levels increased in parallel with the increasing sdLDL particle number, while serum adiponectin increased only in patients with unaltered sdLDL particle number at follow-up (p<0.01 for both). In conclusion, the proportion of small, dense LDL particles and changes in this proportion are predictive of changes in intima media thickness and insulin resistance, and are closely associated with other determinants of an adverse metabolic status. Thus, this parameter extends the individual risk assessment beyond the limitations of traditional risk markers in patients with dysglycemia.
PMCID: PMC3738563  PMID: 23951331
3.  Predictors of in-hospital mortality in elderly patients with acute venous thrombo-embolism: the SWIss Venous ThromboEmbolism Registry (SWIVTER) 
European Heart Journal  2011;33(7):921-926.
Although acute venous thrombo-embolism (VTE) often afflicts patients with advanced age, the predictors of in-hospital mortality for elderly VTE patients are unknown.
Methods and results
Among 1247 consecutive patients with acute VTE from the prospective SWIss Venous ThromboEmbolism Registry (SWIVTER), 644 (52%) were elderly (≥65 years of age). In comparison to younger patients, the elderly more often had pulmonary embolism (PE) (60 vs. 42%; P< 0.001), cancer (30 vs. 20%; P< 0.001), chronic lung disease (14 vs. 8%; P= 0.001), and congestive heart failure (12 vs. 2%; P< 0.001). Elderly VTE patients were more often hospitalized (75 vs. 52%; P< 0.001), and there was no difference in the use of thrombolysis, catheter intervention, or surgical embolectomy between the elderly and younger PE patients (5 vs. 6%; P= 0.54), despite a trend towards a higher rate of massive PE in the elderly (8 vs. 4%; P= 0.07). The overall in-hospital mortality rate was 6.6% in the elderly vs. 3.2% in the younger VTE patients (P= 0.033). Cancer was associated with in-hospital death both in the elderly [hazard ratio (HR) 4.91, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2.32–10.38; P< 0.001] and in the younger patients (HR 4.90, 95% CI 1.37–17.59; P= 0.015); massive PE was a predictor of in-hospital death in the elderly only (HR 3.77, 95% CI 1.63–8.74; P= 0.002).
Elderly patients had more serious VTE than younger patients, and massive PE was particularly life-threatening in the elderly.
PMCID: PMC3345553  PMID: 22036872
Age; Deep vein thrombosis; Mortality; Pulmonary embolism; Venous thrombo-embolism
4.  Antibody Phage Display Assisted Identification of Junction Plakoglobin as a Potential Biomarker for Atherosclerosis 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(10):e47985.
To date, no plaque-derived blood biomarker is available to allow diagnosis, prognosis or monitoring of atherosclerotic vascular diseases. In this study, specimens of thrombendarterectomy material from carotid and iliac arteries were incubated in protein-free medium to obtain plaque and control secretomes for subsequent subtractive phage display. The selection of nine plaque secretome-specific antibodies and the analysis of their immunopurified antigens by mass spectrometry led to the identification of 22 proteins. One of them, junction plakoglobin (JUP-81) and its smaller isoforms (referred to as JUP-63, JUP-55 and JUP-30 by molecular weight) were confirmed by immunohistochemistry and immunoblotting with independent antibodies to be present in atherosclerotic plaques and their secretomes, coronary thrombi of patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS) and macrophages differentiated from peripheral blood monocytes as well as macrophage-like cells differentiated from THP1 cells. Plasma of patients with stable coronary artery disease (CAD) (n = 15) and ACS (n = 11) contained JUP-81 at more than 2- and 14-fold higher median concentrations, respectively, than plasma of CAD-free individuals (n = 13). In conclusion, this proof of principle study identified and verified JUP isoforms as potential plasma biomarkers for atherosclerosis. Clinical validation studies are needed to determine its diagnostic efficacy and clinical utility as a biomarker for diagnosis, prognosis or monitoring of atherosclerotic vascular diseases.
PMCID: PMC3480477  PMID: 23110151
5.  Correction: Carotid Artery Stenting: A Single Center “Real World” Experience 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(8):10.1371/annotation/42028902-fdcd-4e2c-9ec0-62f01edc30fa.
PMCID: PMC3437795
7.  Plasma Homocysteine is Not Related to the Severity of Microangiopathy in Secondary Raynaud Phenomenon 
The role of elevated homocysteine in primary and secondary Raynaud phenomenon (RP) and in patients with atherosclerosis has been reported controversially. In secondary RP due to connective tissue disease specific alterations of nailfold capillaries might be present. An association between these microvascular changes and homocysteine has been suggested.
The aim of this study was to determine whether homocysteine level differs between patients with primary and secondary RP and to test the hypothesis that homocysteine or other cardiovascular risk factors are associated with specific features of microangiopathy in secondary RP.
Patients and Methods
Eighty-one consecutive patients with RP referred for vascular assessment were studied by nailfold capillaroscopy. Homocysteine, C-reactive protein and cholesterol were measured and other cardiovascular risk factors and comorbidities assessed.
Homocysteine, C-reactive-protein and cholesterol levels did not differ between patients with primary (n=60) and secondary RP (n=21). Likewise, no differences in the prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors and comorbidities were found. In secondary RP no correlation was found between microvascular involvement and homocysteine or C-reactive protein.
Plasma homocysteine is not different in patients with either primary or secondary RP and is therefore not a marker for the distinction of these diseases. The extent of microvascular involvement in secondary RP does not correlate with plasma homocysteine.
PMCID: PMC3245410  PMID: 22216066
Raynaud phenomenon; homocysteine; nailfold capillaroscopy; microangiopathy.
8.  Intermittent claudication 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  2007;334(7596):746.
PMCID: PMC1847882  PMID: 17413176
9.  Intermittent forearm cyanosis 
PMCID: PMC2211333  PMID: 18227447
10.  Microcirculation abnormalities in patients with fibromyalgia – measured by capillary microscopy and laser fluxmetry 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2004;7(2):R209-R216.
This unblinded preliminary case-control study was done to demonstrate functional and structural changes in the microcirculation of patients with primary fibromyalgia (FM). We studied 10 women (54.0 ± 3.7 years of age) with FM diagnosed in accordance with the classification criteria of the American College of Rheumatology, and controls in three groups (n = 10 in each group) – age-matched women who were healthy or who had rheumatoid arthritis or systemic scleroderma (SSc). All 40 subjects were tested within a 5-week period by the same investigators, using two noninvasive methods, laser fluxmetry and capillary microscopy. The FM patients were compared with the healthy controls (negative controls) and with rheumatoid arthritis patients and SSc patients (positive controls). FM patients had fewer capillaries in the nail fold (P < 0.001) and significantly more capillary dilatations (P < 0.05) and irregular formations (P < 0.01) than the healthy controls. Interestingly, the peripheral blood flow in FM patients was much less (P < 0.001) than in healthy controls but did not differ from that of SSc patients (P = 0.73). The data suggest that functional disturbances of microcirculation are present in FM patients and that morphological abnormalities may also influence their microcirculation.
PMCID: PMC1065312  PMID: 15743467
capillary microscopy; fibromyalgia; laser fluxmetry; microcirculation

Results 1-10 (10)