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Coronary artery disease is a disease of global significance. Inflammation as well as the central role of monocytes have been content of scientific studies for years for better understanding atherosclerotic pathogenesis.
The aim of this study was the detection of different monocyte subpopulations in patients with coronary artery disease versus healthy controls. For achieving this goal a study was conducted with three patient cohorts, defined by disease activity at the time of study inclusion and one control group without any cardiac preconditions. The disease activity was defined as:
1. Acute event (Acute myocardial infarction, group MI)
2. Chronic coronary artery disease without any acute event in the last six months (group CAD)
3. Chronic coronary artery disease with an acute event (group CAD-MI)
4. Control group
In all patients, flow cytometric examinations of leucocytes were carried out, which were isolated from blood samples. This process enabled both the exact differentiation and the quantification of the (p<0,05) required monocyte subpopulations. The measured data obtained from each cohort were evaluated with standard statistical methods.
The results of the study showed significantly higher presence of inflammatory monocytes in patients with acute coronary events (pCAD< 0,01). The intermediate monocytes were increased in all patient groups compared to the control cohort (pMI<0,05, pCAD<0,05, pCAD-MI< 0,01). The results are compatible with current studies published in literature, examining the question of monocyte presence and function in patients with CAD. In a third subpopulation (CD14loCD16hi) significantly higher monocyte deposits were also detected for the control group (p<0,05) as well as for the patient group CAD (p<0,001) compared to patients with acute myocardial infarctions. This result suggests that the reparative monocytes may be displaced by other monocyte subpopulations, which could be related to an active CAD and clinical acute events. The evidence of various monocytic distribution patterns in patients with different disease activities may support further studies investigating eligible biomarkers for early diagnosis or new immunomodulatory therapy.