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Atherosclerosis. 2005 Feb;178(2):381-6.

Mast cell tryptase: a new biomarker in patients with stable coronary artery disease.

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Cardiology Section, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Medical Center Boulevard, Winston-Salem, NC 27157-1045, USA.


Mast cells may participate actively in the inflammatory process of atherosclerotic plaques by releasing proteolytic enzymes and various other pro-inflammatory substances. We hypothesized that increased levels of mast cell tryptase, could be an important biomarker in patients with stable coronary artery disease (CAD). We measured tryptase in 102 patients without acute coronary syndromes undergoing cardiac catheterization. Patients with significant CAD [> or =50% stenosis in > or =1 artery (n=66)] had significantly higher serum tryptase than patients with normal angiography (n=13) or non-significant CAD [<50% stenosis (n=23)]. The median, 25th and 75th percentiles for tryptase in these two groups were 8.38 (6.4 and 10.7)mug/L versus 6.78 (5.61 and 9.72) microg/L, p=0.014. Patients in the highest quartile of tryptase levels had a 4.3-fold risk for CAD [Odds ratio (OR): 4.3; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.08-17.19; p=0.04]. In a multivariate regression analysis, tryptase remained an independent predictor for CAD along with age (OR: 1.178; 95% CI: 1.021-1.359, p=0.025). High circulating tryptase levels may be a result of chronic low-grade inflammatory activity present in atherosclerotic plaques. Tryptase measurements may emerge as a novel way of identifying asymptomatic patients with CAD, and represent a new biomarker of therapeutic efficacy in patients with CAD.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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