Prognostic role of plasma von Willebrand factor and soluble E-selectin levels for future cardiovascular events in a 'real-world' community cohort of patients with atrial fibrillation

Suresh Krishnamoorthy, Chee Wah Khoo, Hoong S Lim, Deirdre A Lane, Pasquale Pignatelli, Stefania Basili, Francesco Violi, Gregory Y H Lip
European Journal of Clinical Investigation 2013, 43 (10): 1032-8

BACKGROUND: Endothelial damage/dysfunction may contribute to a prothrombotic state in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) and the increased risk of thromboembolism and cardiovascular events. Raised plasma von Willebrand factor (vWf), an established marker of endothelial damage/dysfunction, has been associated with stroke and vascular events, at least in a clinical trial population. Soluble E-selectin (sE-sel) is another biomarker of endothelial activation/dysfunction, with more limited data on prognostic outcomes in AF.

OBJECTIVE: To assess the relationship between the levels of vWf, sE-sel and clinical adverse outcomes (including stroke, MI and all-cause mortality) in a 'real-world' community cohort of patients with AF.

METHODS: We studied 423 patients (mean age 72·7 ± 8·4 years, 55·6% male) with nonvalvular AF, with a median follow-up of 19 (9-31) months. Plasma vWf and sE-sel levels were measured using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).

RESULTS: There were 94 clinical adverse events (22·2%) observed during a median follow-up of 19 months. Patients with clinical events had significantly higher vWf (P < 0·001) and sE-sel levels at baseline (P < 0·001) compared with those who were event free. Kaplan-Meir analyses demonstrated that more clinical adverse events occurred in the upper tertile of vWf [upper vs. lowest tertile, RR 3·8, 95% CI (2·63-5·57), P < 0·001; upper vs. middle tertile, RR 10·5, 95% CI (5·33-20·60), P < 0·001]. Similarly, the highest tertile of sE-sel was associated with more adverse events [upper vs. lowest tertile, RR 3·7, 95% CI (2·51-5·31), P < 0·001; upper vs. middle tertile, RR 6·5, 95% CI (3·56-11·91), P < 0·001].

CONCLUSION: High plasma vWf and soluble E-selectin levels are associated with an increased risk of clinical adverse events (acute myocardial infarction, ischaemic stroke and all-cause mortality) in 'real-world' patients with AF. These soluble biomarkers may potentially aid clinical risk stratification in this common arrhythmia.

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