Author + information
- 1University Department of Medicine, Queen Mary Hospital, Hong Kong
- 2Department of Pharmacology and Pharmacy, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
- 3Department of Pathology, Queen Mary Hospital, Hong Kong
- 4Department of Accident and Emergency, Queen Mary Hospital, Hong Kong
- 5State Key Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Beta-2 microglobulin (B2M) is a marker of renal dysfunction and immune activation. In our previous study, serum B2M was found to be related to age, renal function and cardiovascular risk factors, and was strongly related to cardiovascular mortality and all-cause mortality. Acute coronary syndrome (ACS) is a common cause of hospital admission and is associated with increased risk of myocardial infarction and mortality. We tested in a case-control study the hypothesis that the serum level of B2M is elevated in ACS.
We recruited 99 Chinese patients (67 men and 32 women; mean age±SD, 64±13 years), of whom 55 had ACS and 44 were controls matched for age and sex. Serum B2M was measured in an accredited laboratory using a latex-enhanced immunoassay (intra-assay coefficient of variation 3.4%).
The median serum B2M level and interquartile range were 2.0 [1.6-2.7]μg/mL. The upper reference level of serum B2M in our laboratory is 1.42μg/mL. Thus, only 10 subjects (10%) had a serum B2M within the reference range. Serum B2M levels (mean±SE) were 2.77±0.31 in ACS patients and 1.97±0.07μg/mL in controls (p=0.023). There was no correlation between serum B2M and troponin level, suggesting no association between serum B2M level and the extent of acute myocardial damage. Serum B2M correlated strongly with age (Spearman's ρ=0.57, p < 0.001), serum creatinine (ρ=0.65, p < 0.001) and HDL-cholesterol (ρ=-0.21, p=0.03).
Serum B2M level is increased in ACS patients although not related to the troponin level. In contrast, it is related to age, creatinine and inversely related to HDL-cholesterol. Thus, serum B2M seems to be as useful a biomarker in Chinese as it is in westerners. A long-term study of outcomes is warranted to investigate if the serum B2M level in ACS patients predicts prognosis and mortality.
This study was supported by a Seed Funding for Basic Research Grant from the University of Hong Kong.