Gurfinkel, E. P., Scirica, B. M., Bozovich, G., Macchia, A., Manos, E., Mautner, B. Serum neopterin levels and the angiographic extent of coronary arterial narrowing in unstable angina pectoris and in non-Q-wave acute myocardial infarction Am J Cardiol. 1999;83(4):515-8.

Systemic serum markers of inflammation are elevated in diseases due to atherosclerosis, but have not been associated with the extent of atherosclerotic disease. We examined the role of neopterin, a byproduct of activated macrophage metabolism, in patients with unstable angina. Baseline neopterin samples and clinical histories were obtained in 52 patients admitted with unstable angina pectoris. Coronary angiograms of 27 patients were reviewed using Sullivan's method to assess the total atherosclerotic burden in the coronary arteries. Twenty-six of the 52 patients were eventually diagnosed with a non-Q-wave acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and had higher neopterin levels (10.1 +/- 6.7 vs 7.2 +/- 4.0 nmol/L, p = 0.06) than patients with a final diagnosis of unstable angina. Patients with neopterin >8.7 were more likely to be diagnosed with a non-Q-wave AMI (75% vs 39%, p = 0.035) and were more likely to have significantly more severe and extensive angiographically determined atherosclerosis than patients with low neopterin levels. Neopterin levels correlated with the score of atherosclerotic extension (Spearman's rank correlation coefficient 0.4807, p = 0.034). This study demonstrates a correlation between immune cell activation and the extent of angiographically determined atherosclerosis and the degree of myocardial ischemia.