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Scand J Clin Lab Invest. 2002;62(5):337-42.

Serum matrix metalloproteinase-9 concentration in angiographically assessed coronary artery disease.

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Department of Medical Biochemistry, University of Tampere Medical School, Finland.


Expression of several matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) in atherosclerotic plaques has been well documented, and there are findings to indicate that arterial inflammation is reflected in increased serum concentration of matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9). In coronary atherosclerosis, there is enhanced expression of this MMP, which may be predictive of the severity of the disease. We determined the concentrations of serum MMP-9 in 61 patients (47 males, 14 females) who had >50% obstruction in one or more coronary arteries as assessed by coronary angiography before bypass surgery. In a control group of 19 patients (9 males, 10 females) there were no pathological findings in coronary angiography. ANOVA showed that serum MMP-9 concentrations were highest in patients with 3-vessel coronary artery disease (CAD) (57.3+/-39.1 microg/L, p=0.011). The difference remained statistically significant after adjustment for age, diabetes and sex (p=0.025, ANCOVA). When the groups were compared with each other, serum MMP-9 concentration was higher in the patients with 3-vessel CAD than in those with 1- or 2-vessel CAD (40.4+/-25.1 microg/L, p=0.044) or in the controls (32.2+/- 16.1 microg/L, p=0.007). These results show that serum MMP-9 is elevated in patients with severe coronary stenosis compared with controls. Since MMP-9 has been suggested to reflect inflammation in atherosclerotic plaques, it may be useful in the evaluation of the severity of cardiovascular disease.

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