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Relation of C-reactive protein to extent and severity of coronary narrowing in patients with stable angina pectoris or abnormal exercise tests

      Recent studies have implicated inflammation in the pathogenesis of coronary artery disease and of acute coronary syndromes.
      • Ross R.
      Atherosclerosis—an inflammatory disease.
      ,
      • Mehta J.L.
      • Saldeen T.G.P.
      • Rand K.
      Interactive role of infection, inflammation and traditional risk factors in atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease.
      ,
      • Azar R.R.
      • Waters D.D.
      The inflammatory etiology of unstable angina.
      Systemic markers of inflammation such as C-reactive protein (CRP) are elevated in patients with coronary atherosclerosis,
      • Anderson J.L.
      • Carlquist J.F.
      • Muhlestein J.B.
      • Horne B.D.
      • Elmer S.P.
      Evaluation of C-reactive protein, an inflammatory marker, and infection serology as risk factors for coronary artery disease and myocardial infarction.
      and increase significantly in patients with unstable angina or acute myocardial infarction.
      • Liuzzo G.
      • Biasucci L.M.
      • Gallimore J.R.
      • Grillo R.L.
      • Rebuzzi A.G.
      • Pepys M.B.
      • Maseri A.
      The prognostic value of C-reactive protein and serum Amyloid A protein in severe unstable angina.
      CRP levels are also powerful predictors of cardiac complications and death in patients with unstable coronary syndromes
      • Liuzzo G.
      • Biasucci L.M.
      • Gallimore J.R.
      • Grillo R.L.
      • Rebuzzi A.G.
      • Pepys M.B.
      • Maseri A.
      The prognostic value of C-reactive protein and serum Amyloid A protein in severe unstable angina.
      as well as in healthy men and women without a prior cardiac history.
      • Ridker P.M.
      • Cushman M.
      • Stampfer M.J.
      • Tracy R.P.
      • Hennekens C.H.
      Inflammation, aspirin and the risk of cardiovascular disease in apparently healthy men.
      ,
      • Ridker P.M.
      • Buring J.E.
      • Shih J.
      • Matias M.
      • Hennekens C.H.
      Prospective study of C-reactive protein and the risk of future cardiovascular events among apparently healthy women.
      A potential explanation for the high event rate in patients with elevated CRP levels is that a high CRP level is a marker for more severe and extensive coronary artery disease. This study was designed to determine whether CRP correlates with the extent and severity of coronary atherosclerosis as assessed by coronary angiography.
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