Soluble lectin-like oxidized low-density lipoprotein receptor-1 (sLOX-1), neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL), and matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) are inflammatory biomarkers involved in plaque destabilization resulting in acute coronary syndrome (ACS). This study aimed to investigate the diagnostic value of a combination of biomarkers to discriminate plaque ruptures in the setting of ACS. Eighty-five ACS patients with optical coherence tomography (OCT) images of the culprit plaque were included and categorized into two groups: ACS with plaque rupture (Rupture group, n = 42) or without plaque rupture (Non-rupture group, n = 43) verified by OCT. A discriminative model of plaque rupture using several biomarkers was developed and validated. The Rupture group had higher white blood cell (WBC) counts and peak creatine kinase-myocardial band (CK-MB) levels (13.39 vs. 2.69 ng/mL, p = 0.0016). sLOX-1 (227.9 vs. 51.7 pg/mL, p < 0.0001) and MMP-9 (13.4 vs. 6.45 ng/mL, p = 0.0313) levels were significantly higher in the Rupture group, whereas NGAL showed a trend without statistical significance (59.03 vs. 53.80 ng/mL, p = 0.093). Receiver operating characteristic curves to differentiate Rupture group from Non-rupture group calculated the area under the curve for sLOX-1 (p < 0.001), MMP-9 (p = 0.0274), and NGAL (p = 0.0874) as 0.763, 0.645, and 0.609, respectively. A new combinatorial discriminative model including sLOX-1, MMP-9, WBC count, and the peak CK-MB level showed an area under the curve of 0.8431 (p < 0.001). With a cut-off point of 0.614, the sensitivity and specificity of plaque rupture were 62.2% and 97.6%, respectively. The new discriminative model using sLOX-1, MMP-9, WBC count, and peak CK-MB levels could better identify plaque rupture than each individual biomarker in ACS patients.
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