Elevation in plasma MMP-9 following carotid endarterectomy is associated with particulate cerebral embolisation

K. J. Molloy*, M. M. Thompson, E. C. Schwalbe, P. R.F. Bell, A. R. Naylor, I. M. Loftus

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives. To study plasma MMP-9 levels before and after carotid endarterectomy (CEA). Design. Observational study. 

Methods. Pre-operative (morning of surgery) and post-operative (48 h) plasma samples were obtained from 75 consecutive patients undergoing CEA. MMP-9 concentrations were quantified using ELISA. Transcranial Doppler monitoring was performed on each patient to detect particulate embolisation during the dissection phase of the CEA, until the application of carotid clamps. 

Results. The median post-operative plasma MMP-9 level of emboli-positive patients was significantly higher than their median pre-operative value (14.9 ng/ml vs. 8.8 ng/ml; p = 0.038). However, no significant difference was seen in the plasma MMP-9 level of emboli-negative patients (7.7 ng/ml vs. 7.1 ng/ml; p = 0.364). A greater rise was seen in the median plasma MMP-9 levels of those patients suffering > 2 emboli (from 3.4 to 19.3 ng/ml; p = 0.041) than those patients suffering 1 or 2 emboli (from 10.1 to 12.8 ng/ml; p = 0.340). 

Conclusions. Plasma MMP-9 only rises after CEA in patients with evidence of embolisation. This increase is more pronounced in those with high numbers of emboli. These data suggest that the increase in MMP-9 is due to cerebral damage caused by embolisation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)409-413
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery
Issue number4
Early online date18 Feb 2004
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2004
Externally publishedYes

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