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Atherosclerosis. 2002 Apr;161(2):403-8.

Increased levels of monocyte-related cytokines in patients with unstable angina.

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Department of Cardiology, Jichi Medical School, Minamikawachi-machi, Tochigi 329-0498, Japan.


Inflammatory cytokines play important roles in coronary artery disease. We investigated the clinical significance of monocyte-related cytokine expression in patients with angina pectoris. We studied 26 patients with stable effort angina and 20 patients with unstable angina in whom stenotic lesions of the coronary arteries were confirmed by selective coronary angiography. Plasma levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6), macrophage colony stimulating factor (MCSF), and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) were measured. Plasma levels of IL-6, MCSF, and MCP-1 in patients with unstable angina were significantly higher than those in patients with stable angina or control subjects. Patients with unstable angina were further divided into sub-groups according to their clinical classification; Levels of IL-6, MCSF, and MCP-1 in patients, who had anginal attacks at rest within the 48 h prior to admission (Braunwald class IIIB) were significantly higher than those in patients, who did not have attacks at rest (class IB). Five unstable patients, who were refractory to medical therapy and were referred for emergency coronary revascularization showed marked elevation of plasma MCSF and MCP-1 levels. In conclusion, plasma levels of monocyte-related cytokines were elevated in unstable angina. These increases were marked in patients with unstable angina with recent ischemic attack at rest, suggesting that activation of monocytes is involved in vulnerability of underlying atheromatous plaque.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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