The complement system in ischemic heart disease.
The mechanisms by which tissue injury after acute myocardial infarction (AMI) occurs has not been fully elucidated. Recent evidence in experimental models has suggested involvement of the complement system in microvascular and macrovascular injury subsequent to AMI. With respect to angina pectoris, whether or not the complement system is activated is not clear. The present study assessed the role of complement as a mediator of myocardial inflammation by quantifying products of complement activation, including C3d, C4d, Bb, and SC5b-9 complexes, in 31 patients with AMI, 17 patients with unstable angina pectoris, 19 patients with stable angina pectoris, and 20 normal volunteers. The plasma C3d levels increased in patients with AMI and in those with unstable angina pectoris (p less than 0.01). The plasma levels of C4d, Bb, and SC5b-9 increased only in patients with AMI (p less than 0.01). The plasma SC5b-9 level was related to peak creatine phosphokinase (r = 0.71) and inversely related to the ejection fraction (r = -0.71). The plasma SC5b-9 level of patients with congestive heart failure was higher than that of patients without congestive heart failure in AMI. These results show that activation of complement system occurs after AMI and show an association of myocardial damage with complement activation. With respect to angina pectoris, the complement system is mildly activated in patients with unstable angina pectoris; however, the cardiac function of patients with unstable angina pectoris is not damaged. The complement system of patients with stable angina pectoris is not activated.
- Copyright © 1990 by American Heart Association