Circulating ICAM-1 and VCAM-1 in peripheral artery disease and hypercholesterolaemia: relationship to the location of atherosclerotic disease, smoking, and in the prediction of adverse events

Thromb Haemost. 1998 Jun;79(6):1080-5.


We examined the relationship of soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (sICAM-1) and vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (sVCAM-1) with smoking and hypercholesterolaemia in peripheral artery disease (PAD). Serum samples were obtained from 119 patients with objectively-proven PAD, 39 patients with hypercholesterolaemia but asymptomatic for PAD, and 132 age and sex matched asymptomatic controls. Using ELISAs, we found increased sICAM-1 and sVCAM-1 (both p <0.01) in the patients with PAD relative to the controls, but no significant change in patients with hypercholesterolaemia. However, the effect for sVCAM-1 was lost when smoking was entered as a covariate. Only sICAM-1 was higher in patients with PAD in the femoral/iliac arteries compared to the carotid arteries (p <0.05). In a 39-month follow-up of 112 patients with PAD, increased ICAM-1 weakly (univariate p <0.05) predicted those 57 whose disease progressed (i.e. to end points such as myocardial infarction and arterial surgery). However, high fibrinogen was a much better (univariate p = 0.001, multivariate p <0.05) predictor of disease progression. We suggest (i) that increased levels of sVCAM-1 in atherosclerosis are due to smoking, (ii) that increased sICAM-1 is independent of this risk factor, (iii) that both these changes are independent of hypercholesterolaemia, and (iv) that increased sICAM-1 is a weak predictor of disease progression in peripheral atherosclerosis.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Arteriosclerosis / blood*
  • Arteriosclerosis / epidemiology
  • Arteriosclerosis / pathology
  • Carotid Stenosis / blood*
  • Carotid Stenosis / epidemiology
  • Carotid Stenosis / pathology
  • Comorbidity
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Femoral Artery / pathology*
  • Fibrinogen / analysis
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Hypercholesterolemia / blood*
  • Hypercholesterolemia / epidemiology
  • Hypertension / epidemiology
  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1 / blood*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Organ Specificity
  • Random Allocation
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / blood
  • Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule-1 / blood*


  • Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule-1
  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1
  • Fibrinogen