The relationship between von Willebrand factor antigen (VWF:Ag), VWF propeptide (VWFpp), VWFpp/VWF:Ag ratio, ADAMTS13 activity, and microembolic signal (MES) status in carotid stenosis is unknown.
 This prospective, multicenter study simultaneously assessed plasma VWF:Ag levels, VWFpp levels and ADAMTS13 activity, and their relationship with MES in asymptomatic versus symptomatic moderate-to-severe (≥50-99%) carotid stenosis patients. One-hour transcranial Doppler ultrasound of the middle cerebral arteries classified patients as MES+ve or MES-ve.
 Data from 34 asymptomatic patients were compared with 43 symptomatic patients in the “early phase” (≤4 weeks) and 37 patients in the “late phase” (≥3 months) after transient ischemic attack (TIA)/ischemic stroke. VWF:Ag levels were higher ( = 0.049) and VWFpp/VWF:Ag ratios lower ( = 0.006) in early symptomatic than in asymptomatic patients overall, and in early symptomatic versus asymptomatic MES-ve subgroups ( ≤0.02). There were no intergroup differences in VWFpp expression or ADAMTS13 activity ( ≥0.05). VWF:Ag levels and ADAMTS13 activity decreased ( ≤ 0.048) and VWFpp/VWF:Ag ratios increased ( = 0.03) in symptomatic patients followed up from the early to late phases after TIA/stroke. Although there were no differences in the proportions of symptomatic and asymptomatic patients with blood group O, a combined analysis of early symptomatic and asymptomatic patients revealed lower median VWF:Ag levels in patients with blood group O versus those without blood group O (9.59 vs. 12.32 µg/mL,  = 0.035).
 VWF:Ag expression, a marker of endothelial ± platelet activation, is enhanced in recently symptomatic versus asymptomatic carotid stenosis patients, including in MES-ve patients, and decreases with ADAMTS13 activity over time following atherosclerotic TIA/ischemic stroke.

Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.