Markers of Inflammation in Patients With Symptomatic and Asymptomatic Carotid Artery Stenosis: A Case-Control Study

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ObjectivesThere is evidence that inflammation plays a role in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. We compared levels of inflammatory markers between patients undergoing carotid endarterectomy (CEA) and controls, and between patients with symptomatic and asymptomatic internal carotid artery (ICA) stenosis.Materials and MethodsA total of 180 patients with ICA stenosis were compared with 180 age-matched and sex-matched controls. The biomarkers evaluated were high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), soluble intercellular adhesion molecule 1, soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 (sVCAM-1), and interleukin-6 (IL-6).ResultsThe levels of hs-CRP, sVCAM-1, and IL-6 in the CEA group were significantly higher than in the control group (1.87 mg/mL vs 1.44 mg/mL, P = .011; 1408 ng/dL vs 672 ng/dL, P < .001; 11.9 pg/mL vs 6.3 pg/mL, P < .001). Multivariate linear regression analysis, adjusted for all clinical and physiologic parameters, showed a significant association between ICA stenosis and hs-CRP, sVCAM-1, and IL-6 concentrations. Analysis of symptomatic (n = 101) and asymptomatic (n = 79) ICA stenosis did not detect a difference in levels of these markers.ConclusionsOur study suggests that inflammatory markers could serve as markers for ICA atherosclerosis but are not useful to identify carotid plaque at risk for symptomatic conversion.

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