Serum concentrations of C-reactive protein were studied in 23 patients with acute myocardial infarction. In 14 patients who did not receive thrombolytic treatment there was a linear relation between infarct size (determined by serial creatine kinase-MB determinations and thallium-201 isotope emission tomography) and the C-reactive protein response. The correlation coefficient between the concentration-time integrals of creatine kinase-MB and C-reactive protein was 0.96. The correlation coefficient between the creatine kinase-MB concentration-time integral and the peak serum value of C-reactive protein was 0.93. In the nine patients who received intravenous streptokinase treatment there was also a positive correlation between the concentration-time integrals of creatine kinase-MB and C-reactive protein. The relation, however, depended on the success of the treatment. In patients with successful reperfusion the C-reactive protein response was only approximately 20% of that in patients in whom reperfusion failed or who received no thrombolytic treatment and who were matched by infarct size. When thrombolysis was successful the correlation coefficient between the concentration-time integrals of creatine kinase-MB and C-reactive protein was 0.86. Daily measurement of serum C-reactive protein is useful in evaluating infarct size in patients with acute myocardial infarction who do not receive thrombolytic treatment. In patients treated with streptokinase C-reactive protein concentrations may be used to assess the success of thrombolysis.
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