Soluble interleukin 6 receptor levels are associated with reduced myocardial reperfusion after percutaneous coronary intervention for acute myocardial infarction

Cytokine. 2015 Jun;73(2):207-12. doi: 10.1016/j.cyto.2015.02.004. Epub 2015 Mar 17.


Aims: Interleukin-6 receptor (IL-6R) signalling has been suggested to play a causal role in the development and outcome of coronary heart disease (CHD). The aim of this study was to investigate the association of sIL-6R levels with myocardial reperfusion after percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) for acute ST-elevated myocardial infarction (STEMI).

Methods: Blood was sampled from 70 patients presenting with STEMI at 6 different time-points (baseline, post-PCI, t=1h, t=6h, t=24h, t=2w). Coronary angiograms post-PCI were analysed for myocardial blush grade (MBG) as indicator of myocardial reperfusion. Serum IL-6 and sIL-6R were measured using IL-6 and sIL-6R enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA).

Results: sIL-6R levels fluctuated biphasic during the two weeks after STEMI. Reduced MBG was associated with a larger change in sIL-6R levels between baseline and post-PCI compared to optimal MBG (-13.40; SEM 2.78ng/ml vs -1.99; SEM 2.35ng/ml, respectively; p<0.001). Patients with reduced MBG also showed a larger increase in sIL-6R levels after PCI and 1h after myocardial infarction (MI) compared to optimal MBG (respectively 11.56; SEM 2.68ng/ml vs 3.02; SEM 2.39ng/ml; p=0.018). IL-6/sIL-6R ratio was also more increased in patients with reduced MBG at 24h after myocardial infarction (0.23; SEM 0.08-0.51 vs 0.10; SEM 0.05-0.21; p=0.024). An optimal MBG was associated with a 10ng increase in sIL-6R level between baseline and post-PCI (OR 1.687, CI 1.095-2.598; p=0.018).

Conclusions: sIL-6R levels fluctuate biphasic during the two weeks after MI with larger changes and increased IL-6/sIL-6R ratio in patients with reduced MBG. Further research is needed to increase our understanding of the possible causality of these associations.

Keywords: Myocardial reperfusion; Soluble interleukin-6 receptor.

MeSH terms

  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leukocytes / metabolism
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Myocardial Infarction / blood*
  • Myocardial Infarction / diagnostic imaging
  • Myocardial Infarction / surgery
  • Myocardial Reperfusion*
  • Percutaneous Coronary Intervention*
  • Platelet Count
  • Receptors, Interleukin-6 / blood*
  • Regression Analysis
  • Solubility
  • Time Factors
  • Ultrasonography


  • Receptors, Interleukin-6
  • C-Reactive Protein