Association between carotid arterial remodeling and plasma concentration of circulating hepatocyte growth factor

J Hypertens. 2001 Nov;19(11):1975-9. doi: 10.1097/00004872-200111000-00007.


Background: Several studies have reported that the circulating concentration of hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) was increased in individuals with clinically overt atherosclerotic disease, including coronary heart disease and peripheral arterial disease. However, whether changes in the circulating concentration of HGF are associated with early atherosclerotic changes in apparently healthy individuals remains to be determined.

Objective: To investigate the relationship between the plasma concentration of HGF and carotid arterial remodeling.

Methods: Plasma concentrations of HGF were measured in 201 community-dwelling healthy residents free from any medications and signs and history of cardiovascular disease. Carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) and carotid internal diameter were determined by ultrasonography with a 7.5 MHz probe. The study participants were divided into four groups according to the presence or absence of carotid atherosclerosis (presence of plaque, IMT > or = 0.85 mm) and carotid arterial dilatation (diameter > or = 7.0 mm).

Results: Carotid arterial remodeling, atherosclerosis or dilatation, or combinations thereof, was associated with significantly greater concentrations of plasma HGF. Among risk factors, plasma HGF was significantly associated with advanced age (> or = 65 years), current smoking and diabetes mellitus, whereas sex, obesity, hypertension and hypercholesterolemia did not affect plasma concentrations of HGF. Multiple regression analysis showed that plasma HGF was independently associated with carotid arterial remodeling (atherosclerosis, dilatation, or both) in addition to age and systolic blood pressure.

Conclusions: These results indicate that the plasma concentration of HGF increases in relation to carotid arterial remodeling, independently of known risk factors for atherosclerosis. These findings further support a possible role of HGF in atherosclerosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carotid Arteries / diagnostic imaging
  • Carotid Arteries / physiology
  • Carotid Arteries / physiopathology*
  • Carotid Artery Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Carotid Artery Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Hepatocyte Growth Factor / blood*
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Arteriosclerosis / diagnostic imaging
  • Intracranial Arteriosclerosis / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Osmolar Concentration
  • Reference Values
  • Risk Factors
  • Tunica Intima / diagnostic imaging
  • Tunica Media / diagnostic imaging
  • Ultrasonography
  • Vasodilation / physiology


  • Hepatocyte Growth Factor