Aim: Our study investigated the association between soluble endoglin and carotid subclinical atherosclerosis.
Methods: We used endoglin as an adjunct to atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) risk, in recognition of carotid clinical atherosclerosis, in order to explore a new model to refine risk assessment. Out of 3,452 participants, 978 subjects with detected soluble endoglin were enrolled in a cross-sectional investigation in Fujian Province were enrolled. Soluble endoglin concentration in serum samples was evaluated using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay method. Carotid ultrasonography was used to detect intima-media thickness and carotid plaque.
Results: The mean 10-year ASCVD risk by the new Pooled Cohort Equations accounted for 10.04% (±12.35). The mean soluble endoglin level was 15.35 ng/ml (±6.64). Multivariable regression demonstrated that age, systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, total cholesterol, high density lipoprotein cholesterol, and serum uric acid were independent determinants of soluble endoglin. Adding tests of ASCVD and endoglin together, in parallel, will increase the sensitivity and decrease specificity in recognizing carotid subclinical atherosclerosis. Evaluating the added value of endoglin to the ASCVD risk model showed significantly improved discrimination with analysis of C-statistics, continuous net reclassification index and integrated discrimination index. Both ASCVD risk and soluble endoglin showed positively linear correlation with carotid intima-media thickness (cIMT) (β=0.006, P＜0.001; β=0.485, P＜0.001). Even with adjustment for other factors, the relationship between log-transformed soluble endoglin with cIMT was still significant (β=0.369, P＜0.001).
Conclusions: The combination of ASCVD risk and endoglin levels increases carotid atherosclerosis recognition.