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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 364738, 7 pages
Review Article

Circulating Endothelial Cells and Chronic Kidney Disease

Department of Nephrology, Weifang People’s Hospital, No. 151 Guangwen Street, Kuiwen District, Weifang, Shandong 261041, China

Received 28 February 2014; Revised 30 April 2014; Accepted 3 May 2014; Published 18 May 2014

Academic Editor: Keiju Hiromura

Copyright © 2014 Kunying Zhang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Endothelial dysfunction may play a crucial role in initiation of the pathogenesis of vascular disease and atherosclerosis. The identification and quantification of circulating endothelial cells (CEC) have been developed as a novel marker of endothelial function. We describe, in great detail, mechanisms of endothelial dysfunction and CEC detachment. We also review the relationship between numbers of CEC and disease severity and response to treatment. In addition, we describe the possible clinical use of CEC in chronic kidney disease (CKD) and kidney transplantation. In summary, CEC have been developed as a novel approach to assess the endothelial damage. Measurement of the CEC level would provide an important diagnostic and prognostic value on the endothelium status and the long-term outcome of vascular dysfunction.