Background: Inflammation is thought to contribute to initiation and aggravation of atherosclerosis through a process predominantly mediated by adhesion molecules. The aims of this study were to investigate the association between the concentrations of circulating soluble intercellular (sICAM-1) and vascular cellular (sVCAM-1) adhesion molecules and clinical outcome, and to evaluate the effect of antihypertensive drugs on sICAM-1 and sVCAM-1 concentrations in end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients.
Methods: We prospectively investigated 310 (191 males) incident ESRD patients, 53+/-12 years old, shortly before the start of renal replacement therapy. Glomerular filtration rate (GFR) was 6.4 (range 0.8-16.5) ml/min/1.73 m(2). Plasma sICAM-1 and sVCAM-1 were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) kits. Survival was determined from the day of examination, with a mean follow-up period of 39 (range 1-123) months.
Results: In non-adjusted analysis, high sICAM-1 and sVCAM-1 levels were associated with all-cause and cardiovascular (P<0.001) mortality. After adjusting for age, gender, diabetes mellitus, serum cholesterol, C-reactive protein (CRP), subjective global assessment and angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEI) or angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARB), the association between high sICAM-1 and mortality remained significant for all-cause (HR 1.9; CI 1.2-2.9, P = 0.004) and cardiovascular (HR 1.8; CI 1.1-3.1, P = 0.02) mortality, and a high sVCAM-1 was associated with all-cause mortality (HR 1.7; CI 1.04-2.7, P = 0.03). Furthermore, the concentration of sICAM-1, but not sVCAM-1, was lower in patients receiving ACEI/ARB (254+/-83 vs 275+/-92 ng/ml; P<0.05) or patients receiving calcium channel blockers (CCB, 251+/-75 vs 273+/-95 ng/ml; P<0.05) than in non-users.
Conclusions: In ESRD patients, sICAM-1 and sVCAM-1 are independent predictors of all cause and cardiovascular death. The use of ACEI/ARB or CCB was associated with decreased concentrations of soluble adhesion molecules.