Increased plasma adhesion molecule levels in patients with heart failure who have ischemic heart disease and dilated cardiomyopathy

Am Heart J. 2001 Feb;141(2):277-80. doi: 10.1067/mhj.2001.112683.


Background: Inflammatory mechanisms, including leukocyte activation, appear to play a pathogenetic role in the development of heart failure. Vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) and intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) are important mediators of leukocyte adhesion to vascular endothelium. The plasma levels of the soluble form of these molecules may be elevated in chronic inflammation.

Methods and results: We measured plasma VCAM-1 and ICAM-1 levels (in nanograms per milliliter) with the commercially available enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay method in 12 patients (9 male, 3 female, aged 64 +/- 8 years) with dilated cardiomyopathy and heart failure, in 23 patients (23 male, aged 65 +/- 9 years) with ischemic cardiomyopathy and heart failure, and in 11 healthy control subjects (8 male, 3 female, aged 49 +/- 14 years). Plasma ICAM-1 levels were higher both in patients with dilated cardiomyopathy (363 +/- 77 ng/mL, P <.05) (mean +/- SEM) and in those with ischemic heart disease (320 +/- 32 ng/mL, P <.05) than in control subjects (225 +/- 29 ng/mL). VCAM-1 levels were also higher in both groups with heart failure (664 +/- 73 ng/mL) than in control subjects (551 +/- 60 ng/mL). VCAM-1 levels were higher in patients with class IV compared with those with class II and III heart failure.

Conclusions: Plasma adhesion molecule levels are increased in patients with heart failure and are unrelated to the presence or absence of angiographically demonstrable atherosclerotic coronary artery disease. The plasma level of VCAM-1 correlates with the severity of heart failure.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Cardiomyopathy, Dilated / blood*
  • Cardiomyopathy, Dilated / complications
  • Cardiomyopathy, Dilated / diagnostic imaging
  • Coronary Angiography
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1 / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Ischemia / blood*
  • Myocardial Ischemia / complications
  • Myocardial Ischemia / diagnostic imaging
  • Prognosis
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule-1 / metabolism*


  • Biomarkers
  • Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule-1
  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1