Objective. Pentraxin 3 (PTX3), a key component of innate immunity, is a strong marker of disease severity in coronary artery disease (CAD). The aim of this study was to compare levels of serum PTX3 in CAD patients with and without inflammatory rheumatic disease (IRD) and in healthy controls. Methods. We examined 69 patients with IRD (CAD/IRD group) and 53 patients without IRD (CAD/non-IRD) referred to coronary artery bypass grafting, and 30 healthy controls. Results. The mean ± SD serum PTX3 level in the CAD/IRD group was 1.96 ± 0.98 ng/ml; this was statistically significantly higher than that of the CAD/non-IRD (1.41 ± 0.74 ng/ml) and healthy control (1.21 ± 0.59 ng/ml) groups. In contrast to most other IRDs, serum PTX3 levels were relatively low in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and other systemic connective tissue diseases. In sex- and age-adjusted analysis, IRD, acute coronary syndromes, and low alcohol intake were associated with higher serum PTX3 levels. Conclusion. CAD patients with IRD had higher mean serum PTX3 levels than patients without IRD and healthy controls. In addition, acute coronary syndromes and low alcohol intake independently predicted higher serum PTX3 levels. Higher serum PTX3 levels in IRD may be related to the higher cardiovascular risk of IRD patients. Circulating PTX3 could likely be used as a biomarker for severity of cardiovascular disease in IRDs; its importance, however, might be limited in SLE and related disorders.
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