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Endothelial Progenitor Cells and Risk Factors for Coronary Artery Disease

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT00013975
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : April 5, 2001
Last Update Posted : March 4, 2008
Information provided by:
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC)

Brief Summary:

This study will measure and compare the levels of endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) in the blood of people with and without risk factors for atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) to see if there is a relationship between these cells and cardiovascular risk factors such as smoking, high cholesterol level and high blood pressure.

Healthy male volunteers between the ages of 21 and 55 years with and without heart disease risk factors may be eligible for this study. Candidates must have no evidence of coronary or peripheral vascular disease, proliferative retinopathy, or other chronic disease and no history of cancer, migraine-type headache, cluster headache, raised intraocular pressure, raised intracranial pressure, hyperthyroidism.

Participants will undergo the following procedures at the NIH Clinical Center:

  • Medical history and physical examination
  • Blood tests to measure EPC level and various risk and growth factors
  • Brachial reactivity study - This ultrasound study tests how well the subject's arteries widen. The subject rests on a bed for 30 minutes. An ultrasound measuring device is placed over the artery just above the elbow. The size of the artery and blood flow through it are measured before and after inflating a pressure cuff around the forearm. The pressure cuff stops the flow of blood to the arm for a few minutes. After a 15-minute rest, the drug nitroglycerin is sprayed under the subject's tongue. Before the nitroglycerin spray and 3 minutes after it, the size of the artery and blood flow through it are measured again.

Condition or disease
Coronary Arteriosclerosis

Detailed Description:
Evidence suggests that risk factors for atherosclerosis contribute to atherogenesis by causing endothelial injury. However, little is known about determinants of endothelial cell repair and regeneration. We propose that mobilization of endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) constitutes one mechanism for ongoing endothelial repair. EPCs are a bone marrow derived cell population that can be isolated from peripheral blood. Among human peripheral mononuclear cells, EPCs are relatively abundant with an estimated frequency of 1 in 500 to 1 in 1000 cells. Evidence suggests that EPCs can participate in angiogenesis under pathophysiological circumstances. Under normal conditions, however, adult organisms undergo little if any active angiogenesis. One explanation for this set of observations is that high circulating levels of EPCs may exist to allow these cells to participate in functions beyond angiogenesis. We hypothesize that one such function is in the repair of ongoing endothelial injury. To test this hypothesis, we will measure peripheral blood EPC activity by ascertaining the number of EPC colony forming units from peripheral blood sampling. We intend to correlate this biological determinant with the degree of endothelial dysfunction assessed by flow-mediated brachial artery reactivity, and an atherosclerotic risk stratification method developed by the Framingham study. We hypothesize that a correlation will exist between the atherosclerotic risk profile, endothelial function and EPC activity and that the EPC activity will therefore become a novel surrogate biological marker for cumulative cardiovascular risk.

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Study Type : Observational
Enrollment : 120 participants
Official Title: Endothelial Progenitor Cells and Risk Factors for Coronary Artery Disease
Study Start Date : March 2001
Study Completion Date : March 2003

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

Information from the National Library of Medicine

Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contacts provided below. For general information, Learn About Clinical Studies.

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Ages Eligible for Study:   Child, Adult, Older Adult
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No


Men: aged 21 and above with or without cardiovascular risk factors

Women - post menopausal (based on clinical history) with and without cardiovascular risk factors


Pre-menopausal women

History of cancer

Evidence of proliferative retinopathy

History of migraine-type headache

History of cluster headache

History of raised intraocular pressure

History of raised intracranial pressure

Hypersensitivity to organic nitrates

History of hyperthyroidism

Any intercurrent illness

Any other chronic disease not including cardiovascular risk factors.

No current medications including vitamins for at least 1 week.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT00013975

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United States, Maryland
National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Bethesda, Maryland, United States, 20892
Sponsors and Collaborators
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Layout table for additonal information Identifier: NCT00013975    
Other Study ID Numbers: 010119
First Posted: April 5, 2001    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: March 4, 2008
Last Verified: March 2003
Keywords provided by National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC):
Framingham Risk Scoring
Brachial Artery Reactivity
EPC Colony Assay
Healthy Volunteer
Atherosclerosis Risk Factors
Heart Disease Risk Factors
Risk Factors
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Coronary Artery Disease
Myocardial Ischemia
Coronary Disease
Heart Diseases
Cardiovascular Diseases
Arterial Occlusive Diseases
Vascular Diseases