OBJECTIVE: This study was undertaken to analyze the relation between serum activity of chitotriosidase enzyme, a protein synthesized exclusively by activated macrophages, and atherosclerotic lesion extent in subjects with atherothrombotic stroke (ATS) and in subjects with ischemic heart disease (IHD). METHODS AND RESULTS: We assayed the serum chitotriosidase activity and a common chitotriosidase gene polymorphism that causes deficiency in chitotriosidase activity in 3 Spanish populations, ATS (n=153), IHD (n=124), and control (n=148) subjects. Statistical differences were found in serum chitotriosidase activity between ATS (88.1+/-4.6 nmol/mL. h, P60%, respectively. Statistical differences were observed between subjects with major and intermediate stenosis grade compared with subjects with minor stenosis, P=0.005 and P=0.016, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Serum chitotriosidase activity is significantly increased in individuals suffering from atherosclerosis disease and is related to the severity of the atherosclerotic lesion, suggesting a possible role as atherosclerotic extent marker.
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