Rheumatology international

Markers of endothelial damage and repair in Takayasu arteritis: are they associated with disease activity?

PMID 24413630


The current clinical and laboratory parameters of Takayasu arteritis (TA) are insufficient for proper assessment of disease activity. The aims of this study were to investigate the markers of endothelial injury and repair, including circulating endothelial cell (CEC), circulating endothelial progenitor cell (CEPC) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and evaluate their associations with disease activity in patients with TA. Thirty-two patients with TA and 30 healthy age- and sex-matched controls were included in this study. Disease activity was assessed in TA patients using various tools, including Kerr's criteria, the Indian Takayasu's Arteritis Scoring (ITAS2010) and physician's global assessment (PGA). CECs and CEPCs were measured by flow cytometry, and VEGF was measured using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The CEC level was found to be higher in TA patients than in the healthy controls (HC) (p < 0.001). There was no significant difference in CEC level between the active and inactive patients, but its level was slightly correlated with C-reactive protein (CRP) level. CEPC and VEGF levels in TA patients with active disease were higher than those in the inactive patients and HC. CEPC and VEGF levels were positively correlated with ITAS-CRP and PGA scores. This study shows increased level of CEC in patients with TA. It also suggests that the CEPC and VEGF levels may be correlated with disease activity.