Purpose: We investigated correlations of coronary plaque composition determined by virtual histology (VH) intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) and blood levels of biomarkers that represent the vulnerability of coronary plaques. Materials and Methods: Pre- and postprocedural blood levels of high sensitivity C-reactive protein, soluble CD40 ligand (sCD40L), matrix metalloproteinase-9, and neopterin were measured in 70 patients with stable angina (SA) or unstable angina (UA) who were undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) for single lesions. We evaluated the data for correlations between these biomarkers and necrotic core contents in PCI target lesions analyzed by VH. Results: Clinical characteristics, IVUS, VH, and biomarker blood levels were not different between the SA and the UA group except for more frequent previous statin use (52.3% vs. 23.1%, p=0.017) and lower remodeling index in the SA group (0.98±0.09 vs. 1.10±0.070, p<0.001). Among the biomarkers evaluated, only pre-PCI neopterin level showed a weakly significant correlation with the absolute volume of the necrotic core (r=0.320, p=0.008). Pre- and post-PCI blood levels of sCD40L (r=0.220, p=0.072; r=0.231, p=0.062) and post-PCI blood level of neopterin (r=0.238, p=0.051) showed trends toward weakly positive correlations with the absolute volume of necrotic core. Conclusion: We found a weakly positive correlation between the pre-PCI neopterin level and necrotic core volume in the PCI-target lesion. The clinical implications of our findings need to be investigated in further studies.
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