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J Hum Hypertens. 2002 Aug;16(8):557-62.

Circulating intercellular cell adhesion molecule-1, endothelin-1 and von Willebrand factor-markers of endothelial dysfunction in uncomplicated essential hypertension: the effect of treatment with ACE inhibitors.

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Second Department of Internal and Cardiovascular Medicine, First School of Medicine, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic.


The aim of the study was to examine whether the circulating cell adhesion molecules, von Willebrand factor (vWf) and endothelin-1, are elevated in patients with essential hypertension with no other risk factors for atherosclerosis and thus may serve as a markers of endothelial dysfunction in uncomplicated hypertension. Furthermore, the effect of treatment with the ACE inhibitor, quinapril, on levels of endothelial dysfunction markers were studied. The levels of adhesion molecules (intercellular cell adhesion molecule-1 [ICAM-1], E-selectin, P-selectin), von Willebrand factor (vWf) and endothelin-1 were measured in patients with hypertension without any other risk factors of atherosclerosis before and after treatment with quinapril (n = 22) and in normotensive controls (n = 22). Compared with normotensive subjects, the hypertensive patients had significantly higher levels of ICAM-1 (238 vs 208 ng/ml, P = 0.02), vWf (119 vs 105 IU/dl, P < 0.05) and endothelin-1 (5.76 vs 5.14 fmol/ml, P < 0.05). Three-month treatment of hypertensive patients with quinapril led to a significant decrease in the levels of endothelin-1 (5.76 vs 5.28 fmol/ml, P < 0.01). We did not observe significant changes in the levels of adhesion molecules and vWf after ACE inhibitor treatment, although a trend toward a decrease was apparent with all these parameters. Patients with uncomplicated hypertension with no other risk factors of atherosclerosis had significantly elevated levels of ICAM-1, vWf, and endothelin-1. Our data suggest that these factors may serve as markers of endothelial damage even in uncomplicated hypertension. In hypertensive patients, treatment with the ACE inhibitor quinapril resulted in a significant decrease in endothelin-1 levels. These findings indicate a beneficial effect of ACE inhibitors on endothelial dysfunction in hypertensive patients.

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