Studies on cell adhesion molecules and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) in systemic arterial diseases are limited in numbers and some results not consistent. It also remains undefined whether, for how long and to what extent these markers are perturbed after angioplasty. Patients with systemic arterial diseases admitted for percutaneous transluminal angioplasty (PTA) by standard procedures and techniques were prospectively studied. Fasting morning blood samples were collected to determine general biochemistry and relevant molecules by commercially available methods at baseline, 2 weeks and 3 months post-PTA/stenting. A group of equally numbered sex- and age-matched asymptomatic subjects without illness were selected as control. A total of 33 patients (28 M/5 F, aged 72 +/- 2 years) were recruited. Patients with systemic arterial disease had significantly higher baseline serum creatinine, circulating VCAM-1, ICAM-1, and hs-CRP, but lower p-selectin and HDL-C than control subjects. Except ICAM-1, cell adhesion molecules and hs-CRP levels were aroused significantly for at least 2 weeks after PTA/stenting, returned to baseline by 3 months, but p-selectin remained elevated beyond 3 months. ICAM-1 only showed a modest rise after PTA but the overall change was insignificant. In conclusion, cell adhesion molecules and hs-CRP did play a significant role in patients with advanced systemic arterial diseases who underwent PTA/stenting.