[Background] C-reactive protein (CRP) has two natural isomers: C-reactive protein pentamer (pCRP) and C-reactive protein monomer (mCRP). The levels of CRP are significantly elevated in patients with anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA)-associated vasculitis (AAV). mCRP not only activates the endothelial cells, platelets, leukocytes, and complements, but also has a proinflammatory structural subtype that can localize and deposit in inflammatory tissues. Thus, it regulates a variety of clinical diseases, such as ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury, Alzheimer’s disease, age-related macular degeneration, and cardiovascular disease. We hypothesized that plasma mCRP levels are related to cardiovascular disease in AAV.
[Methods] In this cross-sectional study, 37 patients with AAV were assessed. Brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) and mCRP in plasma were assessed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The acute ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) was diagnosed by coronary angiography, and the Gensini score calculated. Echocardiography evaluated the ejection fraction (EF%), left ventricular end-diastolic volume (LVEDV), left ventricular end-systolic volume (LVESV), and left ventricular mass index (LVMI). Estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) was calculated based on serum creatinine, age, and gender.
[Results] The plasma level of mCRP in AAV was significantly higher than that in healthy volunteers (P<0.001). Then, mCRP and CRP levels were compared with and without STEMI complications in AAV. The plasma level of mCRP was higher, but that of CRP was lower in STEMI. The plasma level of mCRP was correlated with Birmingham vasculitis activity score (BVAS), eGFR, BNP, EF%, LVEDV, LVESV, LVMI, and STEMI complications’ Gensini score in AAV; however, CRP did not correlate with BNP, EF%, LVEDV, LVESV, LVMI, and Gensini score.
[Conclusions] The plasma level of mCRP was related to cardiovascular diseases in AAV patients.