Coronary C-reactive protein distribution: its relation to development of atherosclerosis

Atherosclerosis. 1999 Aug;145(2):375-9. doi: 10.1016/s0021-9150(99)00105-7.


Two hundred and ninety-nine paraffin-embedded human coronary artery sections from 68 autopsies, both male and female and with various causes of death, were examined for distribution of C-reactive protein (CRP) using the indirect immunofluorescence technique and high-resolution confocal microscopy. The results demonstrate, for the first time, the existence of CRP in human coronary arteries, with evidence of CRP deposits being associated with lipids within in the artery walls. Grades of CRP immunoreactivity positively correlate with relative intimal thickness and negatively correlate with relative lumen size. It is suggested, therefore, that CRP may be related to the development of atherosclerosis and that the development of coronary atherosclerosis is associated with a relapsing inflammatory/necrotic process occurring within the coronary intima.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biomarkers
  • C-Reactive Protein / immunology
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism*
  • Cadaver
  • Coronary Artery Disease / etiology
  • Coronary Artery Disease / metabolism*
  • Coronary Artery Disease / pathology
  • Coronary Vessels / metabolism*
  • Coronary Vessels / pathology
  • Female
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique, Indirect
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Confocal
  • Middle Aged
  • Necrosis
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Tunica Intima / metabolism
  • Tunica Intima / pathology


  • Biomarkers
  • C-Reactive Protein