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Am J Cardiol. 2001 Nov 15;88(10):1125-8.

Relation of the -174 G/C polymorphism of interleukin-6 to interleukin-6 plasma levels and to length of hospitalization after surgical coronary revascularization.

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Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Catholic University, Rome, Italy.


Interleukin (IL)-6 plasma levels are predictive of major cardiovascular events. The -174 G/C promoter polymorphism of the IL-6 gene affects basal levels in vivo and transcription rates in vitro, but its association with IL-6 acute phase levels among patients with coronary artery disease has not been investigated. In 111 patients with multivessel coronary artery disease undergoing elective coronary artery bypass graft surgery, we prospectively assessed genotype at position -174 and serial blood levels of IL-6 and other inflammatory indexes. Clinical and surgical characteristics did not differ among genotypic groups. IL-6 levels--measured daily up to 72 hours before surgery, after surgery, and at discharge--showed a mean 17-fold increase, peaking at 24 hours (p <0.0001). IL-6 levels (but not fibrinogen, white-blood cell count, and C-reactive protein values) differed significantly according to the -174 genotype (p = 0.042 for difference between areas under the curve), the 62 GG homozygotes exhibiting higher concentrations than the 49 carriers of the C allele (widest difference at 48 hours, p = 0.015 in multivariate analysis). GG homozygosity was associated with longer stays in the intensive care unit (2.5 +/- 3.4 vs 1.4 +/- 0.9 days, p = 0.02) and in the hospital (6.7 +/- 4.0 vs 5.3 +/- 1.4 days, p = 0.02) than C carriership. Rates of postoperative death, myocardial infarction, and stroke were 8% in GG homozygotes and 2% in C-carriers (p = 0.16). The IL-6-174 GG genotype is associated with higher acute phase levels of IL-6 and with longer stays in the hospital and in the intensive care unit than C allele carriership after surgical coronary revascularization.

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