Validation of plasma fibrinogen as a marker of carotid atherosclerosis in subjects free of clinical cardiovascular disease
Páramo JA, Beloqui O, Roncal C, Benito A, Orbe J.
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES
Fibrinogen has been found to be an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease. The aim of this study was to validate the measurement of plasma fibrinogen as a marker of subclinical atherosclerosis in a series of asymptomatic subjects (n=519, median age 55.5 years, 80% men).
DESIGN AND METHODS
All individuals had a complete clinical examination, lipid profile (cholesterol and its high and low density lipoprotein fractions and triglycerides), global vascular risk assessment (PROCAM), and B-mode ultrasonography of the carotid arteries to determine the intima-media thickness (IMT) and the presence of atheroma plaques. C-reactive protein (CRP), and von Willebrand factor (vWF) were also measured in all subjects as markers of inflammation/endothelial damage.
In the univariate model, a positive relationship was found between plasma fibrinogen concentration and carotid IMT (p<0.001). Fibrinogen concentration also correlated positively with age (p<0.001), systolic blood pressure (p<0.001), smoking (p<0.05), diabetes (p<0.05), PROCAM (p<0.001), CRP and vWF (p<0.001). In the multivariate analysis, the association of fibrinogen with carotid IMT remained significant (p=0.008) after adjustment for all parameters analyzed.
INTERPRETATION AND CONCLUSIONS
In a population sample of adults without clinically overt atherosclerotic disease, elevated fibrinogen levels was related to carotid IMT independently of a wide range of important confounding variables. Plasma fibrinogen may represent a systemic marker of carotid atherosclerosis.
CITATION Haematologica. 2004 Oct;89(10):1226-31