Background: Atherosclerosis is characterized by infiltration of inflammatory cells from circulating blood. Blood cell activation could play an important role in plaque formation. Methods: We analyzed the relationship between blood cellular markers and quantitative measures of carotid wall components in 1,546 participants from the ARIC (Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities) Carotid MRI Study. Carotid imaging was performed using a gadolinium contrast-enhanced MRI and cellular phenotyping by flow cytometry. Results: Monocyte Toll-like receptor (TLR)-2 is associated with larger plaques, while CD14, myeloperoxidase, and TLR-4 associate with smaller. Platelet CD40L is associated with smaller plaques and thinner caps, while P-selectin is associated with smaller core size. Conclusions: Blood cell activation is significantly associated with atherosclerotic changes of the carotid wall.
- Flow cytometry
- Magnetic resonance imaging