Background: We previously reported that increased peak serum C-reactive protein (CRP) level after acute myocardial infarction (AMI) was a major predictor of cardiac rupture and long-term outcome. The aim of this study was to clarify the role of serum CRP elevation as a possible marker of left ventricular (LV) remodeling after AMI. Methods: We prospectively studied 31 patients who underwent primary angioplasty for a first anterior Q-wave AMI. Peak serum CRP level was determined by serial measurements after admission. LV volume and the plasma levels of various neurohormones and cytokines were measured on admission, and 2 weeks and 6 months after AMI. Results: Patients with higher peak CRP levels (above the median) had a greater increase in LV end-diastolic volume during 2 weeks after AMI (+21±14 vs. +5±6 ml/m2, P=0.001) and a lower ejection fraction (45±11 vs. 53±7%, P=0.02) than those with lower CRP levels, associated with a higher incidence of pump failure, atrial fibrillation, and LV aneurysm. Plasma levels of norepinephrine, brain natriuretic peptide, and interleukin-6 2 weeks after AMI were higher in the high CRP group than in the low CRP group. Conclusions: Increased peak serum CRP level was associated with a greater increase in LV volume after anterior AMI. Plasma norepinephrine and interleukin-6 levels were increased in patients with higher CRP levels, suggesting a possible role of sympathetic activation and enhanced immune response in the development of LV remodeling after AMI.
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