Patients with a history of stable or unstable coronary heart disease have different acute phase responses to an inflammatory stimulus

José Pablo Werba, Fabrizio Veglia, Mauro Amato, Damiano Baldassarre, Paola Massironi, Pier Luigi Meroni, Piersandro Riboldi, Elena Tremoli, Marina Camera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Increased levels of acute phase proteins (APP) in serum are associated with vulnerability of atherosclerotic plaques and acute manifestations of coronary heart disease (CHD). APP have been viewed as indexes of active vascular inflammation or as mediators of atherothrombosis. In the present study we tested the hypothesis that individuals who develop stable or unstable forms of CHD might have different innate responses to an inflammatory stimulus. We compared changes in plasma C-reactive protein (CRP) and serum amyloid A (SAA) concentrations 48 h after a standardized inflammatory stimulus (adjuvanted influenza vaccination) in patients with quiescent CHD that had been manifested at onset as inducible myocardial ischemia (Group 1, n = 26) or as acute coronary syndromes (ACS) (Group 2, n = 34). Selected patients were free from inflammatory or other conditions that might affect the immune response. CRP concentration increased significantly after vaccination in both groups (Group 1: 0.47 [0.21-0.86] to 0.56 [0.32-1.17] mg/L, p = 0.005; Group 2: 0.64 [0.21-1.09] to 0.75 [0.33-1.48] mg/L, p = 0.003), without significant differences between groups in absolute or percentage changes. By contrast, SAA did not change after vaccination in Group 1 (14.4 [8.9-19.5] to 14.8 [10.3-18.8] mg/L, p = 0.88) but increased significantly in Group 2 (16.9 [10.0-21.5] to 19.2 [11.3-29.1] mg/L, p = 0.002), with significant differences between the groups in absolute and percentage terms (p = 0.015 and 0.019, respectively). Changes in CRP and SAA, both absolute and percentage, were significantly correlated in Group 2 (r = 0.60 and 0.66, both p <0.001). The responsiveness of plasma SAA to an inflammatory stimulus in Group 2 alone suggests a pro-inflammatory status in patients prone to acute coronary syndrome but not in those with inducible myocardial ischemia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)835-840
Number of pages6
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2008


  • Acute coronary syndrome
  • C-reactive protein
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Inflammation
  • Serum amyloid A

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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