Blood levels of circulating endothelial cells (CECs) may help predict an impending myocardial infarction (Damani S et al. Sci Transl Med. 2012;4:126ra33). Investigators led by researchers at the Scripps Translational Science Institute, in La Jolla, Calif, found that CEC counts were significantly elevated in 50 patients who experienced an acute myocardial infarction compared with 44 controls (a median of 19 cells/mL vs 4 cells/mL). There was no correlation between CECs and typical markers of myocardial necrosis. Circulating endothelial cells from patients were also larger (with a cellular area 2.5-fold larger and a nuclear area twice that of CECs from controls).
Hampton T. Myocardial Infarction Predictor. JAMA. 2012;307(17):1790. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.3997