The long pentraxin PTX3 is a member of the pentraxin family produced locally by stromal and myeloid cells in response to proinflammatory signals and microbial moieties. The prototype of the pentraxin family is C reactive protein (CRP), a widely-used biomarker in human pathologies with an inflammatory or infectious origin. Data so far describe PTX3 as a multifunctional protein acting as a functional ancestor of antibodies and playing a regulatory role in inflammation. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a leading cause of mortality worldwide, and inflammation is crucial in promoting it. Data from animal models indicate that PTX3 can have cardioprotective and atheroprotective roles regulating inflammation. PTX3 has been investigated in several clinical settings as possible biomarker of CVD. Data collected so far indicate that PTX3 plasma levels rise rapidly in acute myocardial infarction, heart failure and cardiac arrest, reflecting the extent of tissue damage and predicting the risk of mortality.