It has been shown that endothelial cell adhesion molecules play an important role in the development of coronary atherosclerosis and inflammatory disease. We sought to test whether soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1), intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) and E-selectin are increased in patients with documented coronary artery disease (CAD). Plasma levels of VCAM-1, ICAM-1 and E-selectin were measured in 40 patients with documented CAD, 20 subjects with angiographically documented normal coronary arteries, and 14 healthy volunteers. Patients with documented CAD exhibited significant elevation of VCAM-1 (535 ± 227.1 ng/ml, p = 0.0001), E-selectin (69.4 ± 29.4 ng/ml, p = 0.006), but not ICAM-1 (320.5 ± 65.1 ng/ml, p = 0.9) concentrations as compared to subjects with normal coronary arteries (252.3 ± 79.8, 49.7 ± 22.0 and 311.4 ± 40.2 ng/ml), and healthy controls (110.0 ± 17.7, 29.0 ± 2.0 and 237.5 ± 46.5 ng/ml), respectively. Soluble markers of endothelial injury are not uniformly increased in patients with documented CAD as compared to those with normal coronary arteries and healthy controls. However, VCAM-1 and E-selectin, but not ICAM-1 could identify endothelial injury in such patients.