Background: Coronary artery ectasia (CAE) is a well-recognised disorder characterised by abnormal dilation of the coronary arteries. Underlying mechanisms associated with abnormal luminal dilation in CAE remain to be elucidated. However, histopathological features resemble those of coronary atherosclerosis. Galectin-3 (Gal-3) is a valuable biomarker for both progression and destabilisation of atherosclerotic lesions. To the best of our knowledge, there is no study in the literature examining serum Gal-3 levels in patients with isolated CAE. In the present study, therefore, we aimed to investigate the possible relationship between serum Gal-3 levels and isolated CAE.
Methods: Between March 2016 and March 2017 this prospective, case-controlled study included a total of 49 consecutive isolated CAE patients (31 males, 18 females) diagnosed with CAE by coronary angiography at the catheter laboratory of Medeniyet University, Goztepe Training and Research Hospital, and 43 individuals (19 males, 24 females) with normal coronary arteries. Physical examination, medical history, blood biochemistry and transthoracic echocardiography were performed in both groups. Serum concentrations of Gal-3 were measured using blood samples.
Results: Median Gal-3 levels were significantly higher in isolated CAE patients than in the controls [23.2 (23.9 ± 7.1) vs 16.8 ng/ml (17.8 ± 7.3); p < 0.001]. According to the Markis classification, the extent of CAE was not correlated with Gal-3 levels (p = 0.41). Multivariate regression analysis revealed that Gal-3 concentration was an independent predictor of isolated CAE.
Conclusions: Our study results suggest that Gal-3 serum concentrations significantly increased in patients with isolated CAE, indicating that Gal-3 may be involved in the pathogenesis of isolated CAE.
Keywords: atherosclerosis; galectin‐3; isolated coronary artery ectasia.