Plasma Concentrations and Genetic Variation of Matrix Metalloproteinase 9 and Prognosis of Patients With Cardiovascular Disease
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BACKGROUND: Matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9 secretion by macrophages and other inflammatory cells accelerates atherosclerotic progression and destabilizes vulnerable plaque in animal models. However, epidemiological data evaluating the prognostic impact of circulating concentrations and functional genetic variations of MMP-9 are lacking. METHODS AND RESULTS: In a prospective study of 1127 patients with documented coronary artery disease, we measured baseline plasma MMP-9 levels and determined the MMP-9/C-1562T and MMP-9/R279Q genotypes. During the follow-up period (mean of 4.1 years), 97 patients died from cardiovascular (CV) causes. Median concentrations of MMP-9 were significantly higher among patients who experienced a fatal CV event than among those who did not (62.2 versus 47.8 ng/mL; P<0.0001). The crude hazard risk ratio of CV death associated with increasing quartiles of MMP-9 was 1.4 (95% CI, 1.2 to 1.8; P<0.0001), and after adjustment for clinical and therapeutic confounders, it was 1.3 (95% CI, 1.1 to 1.6; P=0.005). Additional adjustment for highly sensitive CRP, interleukin-6, fibrinogen, and interleukin-18 revealed a hazard risk ratio to 1.2 (95% CI, 0.9 to 1.6; P=0.15). The T allele of the C-1562T polymorphism was associated with increased MMP-9 levels in a fairly codominant fashion (P=0.004). Although none of the polymorphisms was significantly related with future CV death, there was a significant association (P=0.02) between the R279Q polymorphism and CV events in patients with stable angina. CONCLUSIONS: Plasma MMP-9 concentration was identified as a novel predictor of CV mortality in patients with coronary artery disease. Whether it provides independent prognostic information compared with other inflammatory markers will have to be additionally assessed.
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