Noncalcified plaques (NCPs) and mixed plaques (MPs) are considered as the high risk coronary plaques. Endothelin- 1(ET-1) is a vasoactive peptide and shows a high expression in vulnerable plaque. However, the relationship between circulating ET-1 and NCPs/MPs is still an unanswered question. In the present study, we found that NCPs and MPs were associated with elevated plasma bigET-1, the precursor of ET-1. The patients with NCPs and MPs had significantly elevated bigET-1, compared to those without coronary plaque or those have calcified plaques. Multiple logistic regression analysis further showed that bigET-1 was an independent predictor for the presence of NCPs/MPs. The finding highlights the potential value of this assay in predicting the characteristics of plaques in patients with suspected or known coronary artery disease.
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