Systemic Markers of Interferon-γ–Mediated Immune Activation and Long-Term Prognosis in Patients With Stable Coronary Artery Disease
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Objective—Interferon γ (IFN-γ) is centrally involved in atherosclerosis-related inflammation, but its activity cannot be reliably assessed by systemic measurements. In activated macrophages, IFN-γ stimulates production of neopterin and conversion of tryptophan to kynurenine. We evaluated the relationships of plasma neopterin and plasma kyunernine:tryptophan ratio (KTR) to long-term prognosis in patients with stable angina pectoris and angiographically verified significant coronary artery disease.
Methods and Results—Samples were obtained from 2380 patients with a mean age of 63.7 years; 77.3% were men. During a median follow-up of 56 months, 10.8% of patients experienced a major coronary event (MCE), and 9.5% died. For MCE, each SD increment of neopterin and KTR (logarithmically transformed) was associated with multivariable adjusted hazard ratios and 95% CIs of 1.28 (1.10 to 1.48) and 1.28 (1.12 to 1.48), respectively. The corresponding hazard ratios (95% CIs) for all-cause mortality were 1.40 (1.21 to 1.62) (neopterin) and 1.23 (1.06 to 1.43) (KTR).
Conclusion—In patients with stable angina pectoris, systemic markers of IFN-γ activity, plasma neopterin, and plasma KTR provide similar risk estimates for MCE and mortality. Our results support experimental data linking IFN-γ to acute atherosclerotic complications.
- Received August 30, 2010.
- Accepted December 9, 2010.
- © 2011 American Heart Association, Inc.