OBJECTIVE--To determine whether interleukin-8 (IL-8, a potent activator of neutrophils) is involved in tissue injury during ischaemia and reperfusion in patients with acute myocardial infarction. SETTING--Teaching hospital. SUBJECTS--Five consecutive patients with acute Q-wave myocardial infarction, two patients with stable angina who underwent elective percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty, and 10 normal controls. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE--Serum IL-8 concentration measured by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) over time (every four, eight or 12 hours for 36-72 hours). RESULTS--All five patients with acute myocardial infarction had a transient but significant rise in serum IL-8 concentration (13-1100 ng/l) within 22 hours after the onset of symptoms, whereas IL-8 was not detected in any of the samples from patients with angina pectoris or normal controls. One patient who died of pump failure and two patients who had mild congestive heart failure showed the highest values (1100, 920, and 190 ng/l respectively). CONCLUSIONS--Serum IL-8 concentration showed a transient rise during the very early phase of acute myocardial infarction. In combination with several recent lines of evidence indicating the importance of injurious activities of neutrophils as a cause of tissue damage in acute myocardial infarction and the potent stimulation of neutrophils by IL-8, these results strongly suggest that IL-8 is important in the development of myocardial injury in acute myocardial infarction.
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