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Eur J Clin Invest. 2012 Apr;42(4):371-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2362.2011.02592.x. Epub 2011 Sep 13.

Inflammatory activation and carbohydrate antigen-125 levels in subjects with atrial fibrillation.

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Department of Cardiology, University of Foggia, Foggia, Italy.



Atrial fibrillation (AF) might be associated with an inflammatory activation and reduced left ventricular (LV) function. Less is known with regard to newly introduced markers of LV dysfunction such as carbohydrate antigen-125 (CA-125) in subjects with AF. The aim of this study was therefore to assess possible associations between AF, inflammatory markers and CA-125.


Forty-eight consecutive patients with AF and 58 control patients in sinus rhythm were enrolled in this study. Patients with acute heart failure, chronic inflammatory or neoplastic disease were excluded from the study. Circulating levels of hs-C-reactive protein (CRP), interleukin-8 (IL-8), IL-6, soluble IL-2 receptor (sIL-2r), TNF-α and CA-125 were assessed; all patients underwent clinical examination with NYHA class assessment and echocardiography. Patients with AF were characterised by higher levels of IL-8 (180 ± 266 vs. 39 ± 43 pg/mL, P < 0·001), sIL-2r (987 ± 1045 vs. 680 ± 336 U/mL, P < 0·05) and TNF-α (26 ± 25 vs. 9 ± 4 pg/mL, P < 0·001). Patients with AF duration < 6 months had higher levels of CRP (54 ± 73 vs. 12 ± 14 mg/dL, P < 0·05) and IL-8 (251 ± 225 vs. 99 ± 123 pg/mL, P < 0·05) when compared with AF duration > 6 months. CA-125 levels were not statistically different if comparing subjects with AF with controls and AF > 6 months with AF < 6 months. Among patients with AF, CA-125 levels were significantly related to NYHA class, (r = 0·33, P < 0·05) as well as IL-6 levels (r = 0·31, P < 0·05). Results remained statistically significant even after multivariable correction for age, gender and LV ejection fraction.


AF is characterised by an inflammatory activation. Impaired functional class in AF subjects might be associated with increased CA-125 levels and higher inflammatory markers.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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