Isolation and enumeration of circulating endothelial cells by immunomagnetic isolation: proposal of a definition and a consensus protocol
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J.Thromb.Haemost. 4 (3): 671-677 (2006)

BACKGROUND: Circulating endothelial cells (CECs) have been identified as markers of vascular damage in a variety of disorders, such as myocardial infarction, vasculitis, and transplantation. CD146-driven immunomagnetic isolation has gained widespread use, but the technique is hampered by the lack of a definition of CECs and the absence of a consensus for their enumeration. AIM: To evaluate several variables influencing immunomagnetic isolation of CECs, formulate a definition for CECs and propose a consensus protocol for their enumeration. METHODS: We devised a protocol based on CD146-driven immunomagnetic isolation and a subsequent confirmatory step with Ulex-Europaeus-Lectin-1 staining. In a multi-center effort, we evaluated the preanalytical and analytical phases of this protocol. We evaluated the effects of storage, anticoagulation and density centrifugation, and compiled previous experience with this technique. RESULTS: Our protocol permitted unequivocal identification of CECs with
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