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Atherosclerosis. 2014 Aug;235(2):606-12. doi: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2014.05.957. Epub 2014 Jun 8.

The relationship of novel adipokines, RBP4 and omentin-1, with carotid atherosclerosis severity and vulnerability.

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Department of Vascular Surgery, Medical School, "Attikon" University General Hospital, Athens, Greece. Electronic address:
2nd Department of Internal Medicine, Research Institute and Diabetes Centre, Athens University Medical School, "Attikon" University General Hospital, Athens, Greece.
School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, National Technical University of Athens, Greece.
Department of Vascular Surgery, Medical School, "Attikon" University General Hospital, Athens, Greece.
Department of Cytopathology, "Attikon" University General Hospital, Athens, Greece.



We investigated the relationship of circulating novel adipokines, retinol-binding protein 4 (RBP4) and omentin-1, with advanced carotid atherosclerosis and ultrasound indexes of severity (total plaque area-TPA) and plaque echogenicity and vulnerability (Gray-Scale median - GSM score).


We enrolled 225 patients with high-grade carotid stenosis (HGCS) who underwent carotid revascularization (73 Symptomatic patients, 152 asymptomatic patients) and 75 age- and sex-matched, asymptomatic individuals with low-grade (<50%) carotid stenosis (LGCS). Seventy-three individuals without current manifestations of atherosclerotic disease served as control group (COG). All participants underwent carotid ultrasound with TPA and GSM score assessment. Moreover, clinical parameters, metabolic profile, and circulating levels of hsCRP and adipokines were assessed.


RBP4 was significantly elevated in HGCS (51.44 ± 16.23 mg/L) compared to LGCS (38.39 ± 8.85 mg/L), independent of symptoms existence, whereas RBP4 levels in COG were even lower (25.74 ± 10.72 mg/L, p < 0.001 compared to either HGCS or LGCS). Inversely, serum omentin-1 levels were significantly lower across HGCS (490.41 ± 172 ng/ml) and LGCS (603.20 ± 202.43 ng/ml) than COG (815.3 ± 185.32, p < 0.001). Moreover, the considerable difference between HGCS and LGCS (p < 0.001) was exclusively attributed to the excessive suppression of omentin-1 concentrations in symptomatic versus asymptomatic (p = 0.004) patients. HGCS and LGCS did not differ in the rest of clinical and biochemical parameters. In multiple regression analysis, RBP4 (beta = 0.232, p = 0.025) and hsCRP (beta = 0.300, p = 0.004) emerged as independent determinants of TPA in patients with carotid atherosclerosis. Low serum levels of omentin-1 correlated with GSM score and symptoms but that association was lost in multivariate analysis..


RBP4 serum levels were significantly elevated in patients with established carotid atherosclerosis and were positively associated with atherosclerosis severity. The association of low serum omentin-1 with carotid plaque echolucency requires further investigation.. Identifier: NCT00636766.


Adipokines; Carotid atherosclerosis; Omentin-1; Retinol-binding protein-4; Stroke

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