Heeschen, C. (Christopher); Meinertz, T. (Thomas); Zeiher, A.M. (Andreas); Eiserich, J.P. (Jason); Munzel, T. (Thomas); Simoons, M.L. (Maarten); Hamm, C.W. (Christian)
BACKGROUND: Polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMNs) have gained attention as critical mediators of acute coronary syndromes (ACS). Myeloperoxidase (MPO), a hemoprotein abundantly expressed by PMNs and secreted during activation, possesses potent proinflammatory properties and may contribute directly to tissue injury. However, whether MPO also provides prognostic information in patients with ACS remains unknown. METHODS AND RESULTS: MPO serum levels were assessed in 1090 patients with ACS. We recorded death and myocardial infarctions during 6 months of follow-up. MPO levels did not correlate with troponin T, soluble CD40 ligand, or C-reactive protein levels or with ST-segment changes. However, patients with elevated MPO levels (>350 microg/L; 31.3%) experienced a markedly increased cardiac risk (adjusted hazard ratio [HR] 2.25 [1.32 to 3.82]; P=0.003). In particular, MPO serum levels identified patients at risk who had troponin T levels below 0.01 microg/L (adjusted HR 7.48 [95% CI 1.98 to 28.29]; P=0.001). In a multivariate model that included other biochemical markers, troponin T (HR 1.99; P=0.023), C-reactive protein (1.25; P=0.044), vascular endothelial growth factor (HR 1.87; P=0.041), soluble CD40 ligand (HR 2.78; P<0.001), and MPO (HR 2.11; P=0.008) were all independent predictors of the patient's 6-month outcome. CONCLUSIONS: In patients with ACS, MPO serum levels powerfully predict an increased risk for subsequent cardiovascular events and extend the prognostic information gained from traditional biochemical markers. Given its proinflammatory properties, MPO may serve as both a marker and mediator of vascular inflammation and further points toward the significance of PMN activation in the pathophysiology of ACS.