Biomarkers of coronary endothelial health: correlation with invasive measures of collateral function, flow and resistance in chronically occluded coronary arteries and the effect of recanalization

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In the presence of a chronically occluded coronary artery, the collateral circulation matures by a process of arteriogenesis; however, there is considerable variation between individuals in the functional capacity of that collateral network. This could be explained by differences in endothelial health and function. We aimed to examine the relationship between the functional extent of collateralization and levels of biomarkers that have been shown to relate to endothelial health.


We measured four potential biomarkers of endothelial health in 34 patients with mature collateral networks who underwent a successful percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) for a chronic total coronary occlusion (CTO) before PCI and 6–8 weeks after PCI, and examined the relationship of biomarker levels with physiological measures of collateralization.


We did not find a significant change in the systemic levels of sICAM-1, sE-selectin, microparticles or tissue factor 6–8 weeks after PCI. We did find an association between estimated retrograde collateral flow before CTO recanalization and lower levels of sICAM-1 (r=0.39, P=0.026), sE-selectin (r=0.48, P=0.005) and microparticles (r=0.38, P=0.03).


Recanalization of a CTO and resultant regression of a mature collateral circulation do not alter systemic levels of sICAM-1, sE-selectin, microparticles or tissue factor. The identified relationship of retrograde collateral flow with sICAM-1, sE-selectin and microparticles is likely to represent an association with an ability to develop collaterals rather than their presence and extent.

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