Markers of eosinophilic inflammation and risk prediction in patients with coronary artery disease


  • Department of Hematological, Pneumological and Cardiovascular Sciences (C. Falcone, M. P. Buzzi), Interdepartmental Center for Research in Molecular Medicine (P. Minoretti, E. Coen, E. Emanuele, A. Aldeghi, V. Olivieri, D. Geroldi), Department of Internal Medicine and Medical Therapeutics, IRCCS San Matteo Hospital (A. D’Angelo), University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy.

Diego Geroldi, MD, Interdepartmental Center for Research in Molecular Medicine (CIRMC), University of Pavia, Viale Taramelli 24, 27100, Pavia, Italy. Tel.: +39 0382528341; fax: +39 0382526259; e-mail:


Background  The eotaxin family comprises three distinct peptides (eotaxin, eotaxin-2 and eotaxin-3) which have been implicated in eosinophilic inflammation. In vitro and clinical studies suggest that eotaxins could play a role in vascular inflammation, but no data are available on their prognostic significance in patients with angiographically documented coronary artery disease (CAD).

Materials and methods  Baseline plasma samples were obtained from 1014 patients with documented CAD. We tested the predictive effect of markers of eosinophilic inflammation and C-reactive protein (CRP) on death from cardiovascular causes and nonfatal myocardial infarction over a 2·7–4·1-year follow-up period.

Results  Unexpectedly, lower eotaxin-3 concentrations were observed in patients with adverse cardiovascular events, whereas both eotaxin and eotaxin-2 showed no association with risk. After adjustment for most potential confounders, patients in the upper-quartile of eotaxin-3 levels had a 0·42 hazard-ratio (95% CI, 0·29–0·61, P < 0·001) for adverse events compared with subjects in the lower-quartile. The highest risk of future cardiovascular events was observed in subjects with combined elevation of CRP and reduction of eotaxin-3; 4·4 hazard-ratio (95% CI, 2·1–9·5, P < 0·001). Importantly, receiver-operating-characteristic curves analysis suggested a superior prognostic value of eotaxin-3 compared with CRP for predicting cardiac events in patients with CAD.

Conclusions  Low levels of eotaxin-3 are an independent predictor of future adverse cardiovascular events in patients with CAD and may be useful for risk stratification.