The inner lining of our vascular system consists of approximately 1.2 trillion endothelial cells. Rather than being a mere wall between the blood and organs, the endothelium is a highly dynamic structure involved in many aspects of vascular biology. Endothelial cells play an important role in regulation of vasomotor tonus, hemostasis and coagulation, fluid and electrolyte transport, inflammation, and angiogenesis. Understanding the biology of the endothelium in specific diseases that can be associated with vascular damage could be of great interest for physicians. Quantification of specific endothelial features, such as the degree of proliferation (angiogenesis) or the extent of endothelial injury, could be of predictive or prognostic value, or could enable physicians to monitor the response to treatment. A novel endothelial biomarker currently under investigation, is the number of circulating endothelial cells (CEC). CEC are endothelial cells detached from the vessel wall, and as such are considered a promising marker for endothelial damage Increased numbers of CEC have been observed in diseases with documented vascular involvement such as vasculitis, sickle cell anemia, and cancer. Also, their number correlates to putative plasma markers of endothelial injury.

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Publication of this thesis was financially supported by Pfizer bv and Amgen
J.A. Foekens (John)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Strijbos, M. (2009, November 27). Quantification of Circulating Ednothelial Cells as Surrogate Marker for Vascular Damage. Retrieved from