On the association between circulating biomarkers and atherosclerotic calcification in a cohort of arterial disease participants

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Cahalane, Rachel M.
Barrett, Hilary E.
Ross, Aisling M.
Mulvihill, John J. E.
Purtill, Helen
Selvarajah, Logeswaran
O'Brien, Julie
Kavanagh, Eamon G.
Moloney, Michael A.
Egan, Siobhan M.
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Elsevier B.V.
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Background and Aims: Atherosclerotic calcification is a powerful predictor of cardiovascular disease. This study aims to determine whether circulating levels of a local/systemic calcification inhibitor or a marker of bone formation correlate with measures of coronary or extracoronary calcification. Methods and Results: Clinical computed tomography (CT) was performed on 64 arterial disease participants undergoing carotid and lower extremity endarterectomy. Coronary artery calcium (CAC) scores and volumes were acquired from the CT scans (n = 42). CAC scores and volumes were used to derive CAC density scores. Micro-CT was performed on excised carotid (n = 36) and lower extremity (n = 31) plaques to quantify the volume and volume fraction of extracoronary calcification. Circulating levels of dephospho-uncarboxylated Matrix Gla Protein (dp-ucMGP), fetuin-A, carboxylated and uncarboxylated osteocalcin (ucOC) were quantified using commercial immunoassays. Carotid participant CAC density scores were moderately negatively correlated with plasma dp-ucMGP (rs = -0.592, P = 0.008). A weak negative association was found between CAC scores and %ucOC for all participants (rs = -0.335, P = 0.040). Another weak negative correlation was observed between fetuin-A and the volume of calcification within excised carotid specimens (rs = -0.366, P = 0.031). Despite substantial differences in coronary and extracoronary calcium measurements, the levels of circulating biomarkers did not vary significantly between carotid and lower extremity subgroups. Conclusion: Correlations identified between circulating biomarkers and measures of coronary and extracoronary calcium were not consistent among participant subgroups. Further research is required to determine the association between circulating biomarkers, coronary and extracoronary calcium.
Matrix Gla Protein , Fetuin-A , Osteocalcin , Diagnostic testing , Computed tomography , Cardiovascular disease
Cahalane, R. M., Barrett, H. E., Ross, A. M., Mulvihill, J. J., Purtill, H., Selvarajah, L., O’Brien, J., Kavanagh, E. G., Moloney, M. A., Egan, S. M. and Leahy, F. C. (2021) 'On the association between circulating biomarkers and atherosclerotic calcification in a cohort of arterial disease participants', Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases. doi: 10.1016/j.numecd.2021.02.005