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Eur J Med Res. 1997 Sep 29;2(9):389-94.

Elevated serum concentrations of soluble adhesion molecules in coronary artery disease and acute myocardial infarction.

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Medizinische Universitäts-Poliklinik, Willhelmstr. 35-37, Bonn D-53111, Germany.



Adhesion molecules are involved in a number of chronic conditions and diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, tumor growth and wound repair. Soluble adhesion molecules (SAM) play an important role in angiogenesis which is a common aspect of the conditions mentioned above and atherosclerosis. The aim of the present study was to assess the prevalence and the impact of elevated soluble adhesive molecule plasma concentrations in patients with atherosclerosis.


In this study, we measured the soluble forms of intercellular adhesive molecule (sICAM), endothelial adhesive molecule (sELAM) and vascular adhesive molecule (sVCAM) using a sandwich ELISA technique in plasma of patients with acute myocardial infarction (AMI), coronary heart disease (CHD) and in healthy subjects (HS).


Patients suffering from CHD and AMI showed significant higher plasma concentrations of sICAM (p <0. 05 and p <0.005), sELAM (p <0.01 and p <0.001) and sVCAM (p <0.001 and p <0.005) than HS. In patients with fatal outcome of myocardial infarction the plasma concentrations of sICAM, sELAM and sVCAM were significantly elevated compared to surviving patients (p <0.005; p <0.005; p <0.05). In patients undergoing thrombolytic therapy there were no significant differences of plasma adhesive molecule concentrations. The levels of SAM were not related to other risk factors like diabetes, nicotin abuse, hyperlipidemia, hypertension and a familiary history of cardiovascular disease.


Elevated levels of SAMs are found in patients with coronary heart disease. High SAM levels in plasma seem to be a prognostic factor in acute myocardial infarction. This effect is independent from other concomitant risk factors. Our results suggest that SAMs are involved both in acute phase of myocardial infarction and chronic process of atherosclerosis. It seems that similiar to other chronic inflammatory diseases, atherosclerosis seems to be modulated by soluble forms of adhesive molecules.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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