Neutrophil count as the centerpiece in the joined association networks of inflammatory and cell damage markers, and neuroendocrine stress markers in patients with stable angina pectoris following stenting

Objective

The primary aim of this study was to examine whether markers of cell damage and of the psycho-neuroendocrino-inflammatory/immune (PNI) system could be associated in patients with stable coronary artery disease (CAD) on the next day following percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI).

Materials and methods

Blood samples of 23 patients (18 men and five women, mean age 62.9 ± 10.6 years), were collected immediately before (pre-PCI), immediately after (post-PCI), and on the day following PCI (1d-PCI). Lactoferrin, LL-37 and interleukin-6 (IL-6) were assayed in plasma, in addition to cortisol and chromogranin A (CgA), as well as CK, ASAT and ALAT. Total and differential leukocyte counts were also analysed.

Results

At all the three time points, the monocyte fractions, the monocyte-to-lymphocyte and the neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratios and CgA levels were elevated. We detected significant peri-procedural changes in the plasma levels of our PNI markers: IL-6 (p<0.05), lactoferrin, LL-37 (both: p <0.0001), CgA, (p<0.05), and cortisol (p<0.01). On the first day after PCI, highly significant associations were found of ASAT with IL-6 and neutrophil count (both: r>0.75, p<0.0001), and of CgA with neutrophil count and monocyte count (both: r>0.79, p<0.0001); furthermore, cortisol was also associated with neutrophil count (r>0.7, p<0.0001).

Conclusions

The findings suggest that myocardial damage could correlate not only with an inflammatory reaction but, via neutrophil count, also with increased level of stress in stable CAD after PCI. Furthermore, 1d-PCI neutrophil count may serve as an easy-to-obtain integrative PNI measure in stable CAD.