Background/Aims: Endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) and circulating endothelial cells (CECs) have been described as markers of endothelial damage and dysfunction in several diseases, including deep venous thrombosis. Their role in patients with known thrombophilia has not yet been evaluated. Both EPCs and CECs represent extremely rare cell populations. Therefore, it is essential to use standardized methods for their identification and quantification. Methods: In this study, we used multicolor flow cytometry to analyze the number of EPCs and CECs in patients with thrombophilia with or without a history of thrombosis. Patients with hematological malignancies after high-dose chemotherapy and patients with acute myocardial infarction were used as positive controls. Results: EPC and CEC immunophenotypes were determined as CD45dim/–CD34+CD146+CD133+ and CD45dim/–CD34+CD146+CD133–, respectively. Increased levels of endothelial cells were observed in positive control groups. No significant changes in the number of EPCs or CECs were detected in patients with thrombophilia compared to healthy controls. Conclusion: Our optimized multicolor flow cytometry method allows unambiguous identification and quantification of endothelial cells in the peripheral blood. Our results support previous studies showing that elevated levels of CECs could serve as an indicator of endothelial injury or dysfunction. Normal levels of CECs or EPCs were found in patients with thrombophilia.

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