Circulating endothelial progenitor cells and coronary collaterals in patients with non-ST segment elevation myocardial infarction

Author(s): Lev EI, Kleiman NS, Birnbaum Y, Harris D, Korbling M, et al.

Abstract

Background: Endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) are bone marrow-derived cells that are augmented in response to ischemia and incorporated into neovascularization sites. We sought to determine whether circulating EPCs are related to collateral formation following non-ST segment elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI).

Methods: Twenty patients who underwent percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) within a week of NSTEMI were divided into two groups: patients without collaterals (coll-, n=10) and patients with Rentrop grade 3--4 collaterals (coll+, n=10). Blood samples were drawn before PCI and 24+/- 2 h after PCI. EPC colonies were grown from peripheral blood mononuclear cells, characterized, and counted. Using flow cytometry the percentage of cells co expressing vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-2 and CD 133 was determined.

Results: The coll+ group had higher degree of culprit vessel stenosis and lower initial thrombolysis in myocardial infarction flow grade. The relative number of EPCs before PCI was significantly higher in the coll+ group than in the coll- group (1.49 +/- 0.9% vs. 0.77+/- 0.4%, p= 0.045). There were no significant intergroup differences in the number of EPC colony-forming cells. The number of EPC colonies increased in the coll- group after PCI (9.5 +/- 4.8 to 14.0 +/- 5.9/10(6) cells, p=0.01).

Conclusions: This study supports an association between circulating EPC levels and collateral formation in patients with an NSTEMI.

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