Background: Coronary artery ectasia (CAE) is defined as localized or diffuse dilatation of the coronary arteries. There are scarce data about the role of inflammation in CAE. In the present study, the plasma soluble adhesion molecules intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1) and vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 (VCAM-1) levels in CAE were investigated. Methods: The study population (n = 67) consisted of four groups. Group 1: patients with normal coronary artery (NCA); group 2: patients with isolated ectasia without stenotic lesion; group 3: patients with obstructive coronary artery disease (OCAD) without CAE; group 4: patients with both OCAD and CAE. Results: Plasma concentrations of ICAM-1 and VCAM-1 were higher in patients with isolated ectasia than in cases with NCA (p < 0.001 and p < 0.001, respectively). Compared with OCAD patients, patients with CAE had significantly elevated concentrations of ICAM-1 and VCAM-1 (p < 0.001 and p < 0.05, respectively). The levels of ICAM-1 and VCAM-1 of the CAE and OCAD group were higher than in patients in the OCAD group (p < 0.05 and p < 0.05, respectively). We detected a positive correlation between the presence of CAE and the levels of ICAM-1 and VCAM-1. Multivariate logistic regression analyses revealed a significant independent relation between the presence of CAE and ICAM-1 and VCAM-1. Conclusion: We found elevated plasma levels of ICAM-1 and VCAM-1 in patients with CAE and OCAD + CAE compared with subjects with NCA and OCAD. These data strongly suggest that more severe vascular wall inflammation may play a role in the pathogenesis of CAE.

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