Biomolecules, Volume 13, Issue 6, 24 4 2023, Pages 882 Biliverdin Reductase B Is a Plasma Biomarker for Intraplaque Hemorrhage and a Predictor of Ischemic Stroke in Patients with Symptomatic Carotid Atherosclerosis. Chemaly M, Marlevi D, Iglesias MJ, Lengquist M, Kronqvist M, Bos D, van Dam-Nolen DHK, van der Kolk A, Hendrikse J, Kassem M, Matic L, Odeberg J, de Vries MR, Kooi ME, Hedin U


Intraplaque hemorrhage (IPH) is a hallmark of atherosclerotic plaque instability. Biliverdin reductase B (BLVRB) is enriched in plasma and plaques from patients with symptomatic carotid atherosclerosis and functionally associated with IPH.


We explored the biomarker potential of plasma BLVRB through (1) its correlation with IPH in carotid plaques assessed by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and with recurrent ischemic stroke, and (2) its use for monitoring pharmacotherapy targeting IPH in a preclinical setting.


Plasma BLVRB levels were measured in patients with symptomatic carotid atherosclerosis from the PARISK study (n = 177, 5 year follow-up) with and without IPH as indicated by MRI. Plasma BLVRB levels were also measured in a mouse vein graft model of IPH at baseline and following antiangiogenic therapy targeting vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (VEGFR-2).


Plasma BLVRB levels were significantly higher in patients with IPH (737.32 ± 693.21 vs. 520.94 ± 499.43 mean fluorescent intensity (MFI), p = 0.033), but had no association with baseline clinical and biological parameters. Plasma BLVRB levels were also significantly higher in patients who developed recurrent ischemic stroke (1099.34 ± 928.49 vs. 582.07 ± 545.34 MFI, HR = 1.600, CI [1.092-2.344]; p = 0.016). Plasma BLVRB levels were significantly reduced following prevention of IPH by anti-VEGFR-2 therapy in mouse vein grafts (1189 ± 258.73 vs. 1752 ± 366.84 MFI; p = 0.004).


Plasma BLVRB was associated with IPH and increased risk of recurrent ischemic stroke in patients with symptomatic low- to moderate-grade carotid stenosis, indicating the capacity to monitor the efficacy of IPH-preventive pharmacotherapy in an animal model. Together, these results suggest the utility of plasma BLVRB as a biomarker for atherosclerotic plaque instability.

Biomolecules. 2023 5;13(6):882