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Anatol J Cardiol. 2019 Feb;21(2):76-82. doi: 10.14744/AnatolJCardiol.2018.25564.

Is endocan a biochemical marker for asymptomatic target organ damage in hypertensive patients?

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Department of Cardiology, Faculty of Medicine, Sakarya University; Sakarya-Turkey.



Identification of the asymptomatic target organ damage (AOD) helps to stratify the overall risk of cardiovascular (CV) diseases and guides a treatment decision in hypertensive patients without a symptomatic CV or renal disease. The endothelial-cell-specific molecule 1 (endocan) is regarded as a novel marker of endothelial dysfunction. Its release is increased in hypertensive patients, especially those with symptomatic CV and renal disease. In the present study, we aimed to evaluate the endocan levels in asymptomatic hypertensive patients with or without AOD.


The study included 132 asymptomatic hypertensive patients, and 101 of who had at least one AOD.


Serum endocan levels did not differ between patients with and without AOD (3.81±0.78 vs. 3.83±0.63 ng/mL, p=0.88). An analysis according to the presence of any specific AOD did not show any difference between groups. No significant correlation was found between serum endocan levels and any of the continuous variables related to AOD, such as the pulse pressure, carotid intimae-media thickness, cardio-ankle vascular index, ankle-brachial index, left ventricular mass index, Sokolow-Lyon index, Cornell voltage-duration product, and estimated glomerular filtration rate.


Endocan may not serve as a useful biomarker at asymptomatic vascular stages of hypertension, despite its role in indicating disease severity and inflammatory activation in advanced symptomatic CV and renal disease.

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