Serum endocan level and diastolic functions in the case of lead exposure

Turk J Med Sci. 2019 Feb 11;49(1):66-73. doi: 10.3906/sag-1801-146.


Background/aim: Lead can cause morphological and functional changes in heart, and inflammation and endothelial dysfunction in vasculature. Endocan, as a novel indicator of endothelial dysfunction, has been used for cardiovascular diseases. This study investigated the relationship between lead exposure, endocan levels, and diastolic functions.

Materials and methods: A total of 51 lead-exposed workers without a known cardiovascular disease or risk factors and 54 healthy controls were enrolled. All participants underwent transthoracic echocardiography. Blood lead and serum endocan levels were analyzed.

Results: Baseline demographic and clinical characteristics were found to be similar between groups. Median blood lead (32 vs 1.5 μg/dL, P < 0.001) and serum endocan levels (67 vs 57.1 pg/mL, P = 0.02) were significantly higher in the lead-exposed group. Serum endocan level showed a positive correlation with blood lead levels (r = 0.404, P = 0.003) in lead-exposed workers. Serum endocan level was an independent risk factor for increased E/E’ ratio (β = 0.704, P = 0.002) and left atrial volume index (β = 1.158, P = 0.011) and higher level of lead in blood was an independent risk factor for increased E wave (β = 8.004, P = 0.022) in lead-exposed workers.

Conclusion: Worsened diastolic functions may be seen in the course of lead exposure. Due to sharing a similar mechanism, a higher serum level of endocan may be a valuable laboratory clue for impaired diastolic function in this population.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Humans
  • Lead / toxicity*
  • Male
  • Neoplasm Proteins / blood*
  • Occupational Exposure / statistics & numerical data*
  • Proteoglycans / blood*
  • Risk Factors


  • Biomarkers
  • ESM1 protein, human
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Proteoglycans
  • Lead