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08-11-2011 | Cardiometabolic | Article

Proinflammatory gene variants correlate with coronary plaque volume in CAD patients


Free abstract

MedWire News: Single nucleotide polymorphisms in the proinflammatory genes encoding C-reactive protein (CRP) and CD14 are independently associated with coronary plaque volume in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD), researchers report.

The team investigated the relation of coronary plaque size with mutations in CRP and CD14 using data from the ENCORE (Evaluation of Nifedipine and Cerivastatin on Recovery of Coronary Endothelial Function) I and II trials.

Coronary plaque and vessel volume were assessed by intravascular ultrasound in 196 study participants who had stable CAD at enrollment. Of these, 173 patients were genotyped for the CD14 C(-260)T and CRP C(+1444)T polymorphisms.

The researchers found that stable CAD patients with the TT genotype of both variants had a higher coronary plaque load than those with CT or CC genotypes, as demonstrated by the plaque/vessel volume ratio.

Specifically, the mean plaque/vessel volume ratio for patients with the CD14 TT genotype was 0.335 compared with 0.294 and 0.285 for those with the CT and CC genotypes, respectively. Similar findings were seen for variants in CRP, with TT carriers having a mean ratio of 0.331, while CT and CC carriers had respective ratios of 0.284 and 0.286.

The observed differences were independent of concomitant cardiovascular risk factors and cardiovascular medication, notes the team.

Thomas Lüscher (University Hospital, Zürich, Switzerland) and colleagues say the clinical implications of their findings are of importance since plaque size is "one of the characteristics of vulnerable plaques thought to trigger acute coronary syndromes."

The researchers add that the CD14 260TT and CRP 1444TT polymorphisms are of "particular interest" in this context as their gene products are known to be involved in atherosclerosis.

The findings are published in the journal Atherosclerosis.

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By Nikki Withers