Sphingosine-1-phosphate tied to peripheral artery disease, carotid stenosis
Sphingosine-1-phosphate may be more accurately associated with peripheral artery disease and carotid stenosis compared with high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-C), a new study reports.
For the study, 132 patients aged >18 years presenting with either peripheral artery disease (n=102) or carotid stenosis (n=30) were recruited. For inclusion, the peripheral artery disease should be at least stage 3, with severe claudication, according to the Rutherford classification. Similarly, the carotid stenosis should have at least 60 percent stenosis when symptomatic or at least 75 percent when asymptomatic, as per the NASCET classification.
Those who had severe coronary artery disease, a general health score of >3 on the American Society of Anaesthesiologists classification system, or a prevalent coagulation disorder were excluded from the final study.
During admission, blood samples were drawn and the serum samples were extracted from all patients. A total of 174 samples from randomly chosen healthy blood donors were used for the controls.
Standard laboratory assays were used to measure the following parameters from the blood samples: red blood cells, white blood cells, haemoglobin, platelets, C-reactive proteins, HDL-C and creatinine.
Moreover, the following were retrieved from the medical records of the participants: use of other medications like statins, clopidogrel and phenprocoumon; and possible risk factors like hypertension, hypercholesterolaemia, diabetes, smoking or arrhythmia, among others.
Finally, the levels of sphingosine-1-phosphate were measured from the serum samples using mass spectrometry.
From the analyses, it was found that atherosclerotic patients, prior to invasive treatment, showed lower serum levels of sphingosine-1-phosphate compared with healthy controls. Such a difference couldn’t be accounted for by comorbidities or other risk factors.
Receiver operating characteristic curves implied that sphingosine-1-phosphate was a better indicator of atherosclerosis compared with HDL-C.
Interestingly, in 35 patients who underwent sphingosine-1-phosphate measurement 6 months after treatment, serum levels increased post-treatment, regardless of the type of surgery and of the atherosclerosis.
The findings show that decreased serum levels of sphingosine-1-phosphate is associated with both peripheral artery disease and carotid stenosis. In fact, it may even be a better indicator of these diseases than HDL-C.