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Atherosclerosis. 2013 Jul;229(1):182-5. doi: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2013.03.030. Epub 2013 Apr 6.

Serum carboxy-terminal telopeptide of type I collagen (ICTP) as a surrogate marker for vulnerable plaques in atherosclerotic patients: a pilot study.

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Department of Medicine and Bioregulatory Sciences, University of Tokushima Graduate School of Medical Sciences, 3-18-15 Kuramoto-cho, Tokushima 770-8503, Japan.


Evaluation of atherosclerotic plaques depends on invasive intravascular ultrasonography (IVUS). Carboxy-terminal telopeptide of type I collagen (ICTP) is produced by matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-dependent digestion of type I collagen. Because vulnerable plaques are rich in type I collagen and MMPs from macrophages, we examined the association between serum ICTP and coronary plaques in patients with coronary disease. We recruited 46 men and 17 women without renal failure or bone diseases affecting serum ICTP, who underwent coronary IVUS. Serum ICTP levels were higher in patients with coronary plaques containing more than 10% necrotic core area than in patients with less than 10% necrotic core area. A positive correlation was found between serum ICTP and necrotic core area. Only serum ICTP was positively correlated with necrotic core area by multivariate analysis (p < 0.05). These results suggest that serum ICTP can be used as a non-invasive marker of vulnerable plaques in atherosclerotic patients.

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