Open Access Open Badges Research article

Decreased pre-surgical CD34+/CD144+ cell number in patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting compared to coronary artery disease-free valvular patients

Santiago Redondo12*, Álvaro González-Rocafort3, Jorge Navarro-Dorado1, Marta Ramajo1, Mihail Hristov4, Antonio Gordillo-Moscoso5, Fernando Reguillo3, Manuel Carnero3, Jose Martinez-Gonzalez6, Enrique Rodríguez3, Christian Weber4 and Teresa Tejerina1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, Universidad Complutense, Madrid, Spain

2 Service of Hematology, Hospital Nuestra Señora de Sonsoles, Ávila, Spain

3 Service of Cardiac Surgery, Hospital Clinico San Carlos, Madrid, Spain

4 Institut für Prophylaxe und Epidemiologie der Kreislaufkrankheiten, Klinikum der LMU, Munich, Germany

5 Department of Clinical Research, Universidad Autónoma de San Luis Potosí, San Luis Potosí, Mexico

6 Cardiovascular Research Center (CSIC-ICCC), Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, Barcelona, Spain

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Journal of Cardiothoracic Surgery 2012, 7:2  doi:10.1186/1749-8090-7-2

Published: 3 January 2012



Cardiovascular disease has been linked to endothelial progenitor cell (EPC) depletion and functional impairment in atherosclerosis and aortic stenosis. EPCs may play a pivotal role in vascular grafting. However, the EPC depletion in coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) patients has not been compared to coronary artery disease-free valvular replacement patients with aortic stenosis.


We aimed to assess the basal number of CD34+/KDR+ and CD34+/CD144+ cells in CABG patients, compared to aortic stenosis valvular replacement patients. 100 patients (51 CABG and 49 valvular surgery ones) were included in the present study. All CABG or valvular patients had angiographic demonstration of the presence or the absence of coronary artery disease, respectively. Numbers of CD34+/KDR+ and CD34+/CD144+ were assessed by flow cytometry of pre-surgical blood samples.


We found a lower number of CD34+/CD144+ cells in CABG patients compared to valvular patients (0.21 ± 0.03% vs. 0.47 ± 0.08%), and this difference remained statistically significant after the P was adjusted for multiple comparisons (P = 0.01428). Both groups had more EPCs than healthy controls.


Pre-surgical CD34+/CD144+ numbers are decreased in CABG patients, compared to valvular patients with absence of coronary disease.

cardiac surgery; endothelial progenitor cells; coronary artery disease