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Wolf Eilenberg awarded the Finlandia prize by the Association of International Vascular Surgeons

MedUni Vienna surgeon honoured for study on carotid artery stenosis
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(Vienna, 17 October 2016) Wolf Eilenberg of MedUni Vienna's Division of Vascular Surgery was awarded the Finlandia prize at this year's Annual General Meeting of the Association of International Vascular Surgeons in Pinzolo (Italy) for his work on Neutrophil Gelatinase-Associated Lipocalin (NGAL) as a biomarker for carotid artery stenosis.

Asymptomatic stenosis of the A. carotis interna (carotid artery) is particularly common in people aged 75 and above (7 – 9%). Advanced atherosclerosis of the carotid artery is thought to be responsible for 30 – 40% of all ischaemic strokes, which may lead to a lifelong impairment and could even be lethal.
Inflammatory cells and cytokines are thought to be the basic element in the development and progression of atherosclerosis in the carotid artery.

In collaboration with Svitlana Demyanets from the Cardiology Research Laboratory (Head: Johann Wojta) of the Department of Medicine II, Wolf Eilenberg has been investigating whether NGAL (Neutrophil Gelatinase-Associated Lipocalin), which is predominantly released by neutrophil granulocytes, is a suitable marker for predicting vulnerable carotid artery stenosis.

With support from the Herzfelder Family Foundation, he was able to identify NGAL in the peripheral blood and plaque of 136 patients who had undergone carotid surgery, using PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) and immunohistochemistry. 
The identified parameters were correlated with clinical data (degree of stenosis, plaque morphology and histology). In the present paper he was able to show that NGAL in peripheral blood is a good predictive marker for soft, vulnerable plaque. In future, NGAL analyses could therefore help to detect vulnerable plaques at an early stage, thereby preventing the serious consequences of a stroke, or even death, by allowing prompt surgical intervention.

About Wolf Eilenberg
Wolf Eilenberg is a resident at the Department of Surgery (Division of Vascular Surgery) at MedUni Vienna and Vienna General Hospital. He studied medicine at MedUni Vienna, graduating in 2010. Since 2011, he has been focussing on the clinical relevance of inflammatory processes in atherosclerosis and carotid artery stenosis.
During the course of his PhD studies, Wolf Eilenberg took part in the "Pulmonary Disease" (n790) programme at the Division of Vascular Surgery, under the supervision of Christoph Neumayer.

W. Eilenberg, S. Stojkovic, A. Piechota-Polanczyk, C. Kaun, S. Rauscher, M. Gröger, M. Klinger, J. Wojta, C. Neumayer, I. Huk, S. Demyanets
Neutrophil Gelatinase-Associated Lipocalin (NGAL) is associated with symptomatic carotid atherosclerosis and drives pro-inflammatory state in vitro
Eur J Vasc Endovasc Surg (2016) 51(5):623-31