Heart diseases are common and significant contributors to worldwide mortality and morbidity. During recent years complement mediated inflammation has been shown to be an important player in a variety of heart diseases. Despite some negative results from clinical trials using complement inhibitors, emerging evidence points to an association between the complement system and heart diseases. Thus, complement seems to be important in coronary heart disease as well as in heart failure, where several studies underscore the prognostic importance of complement activation. Furthermore, patients with atrial fibrillation often share risk factors both with coronary heart disease and heart failure, and there is some evidence implicating complement activation in atrial fibrillation. Moreover, Chagas heart disease, a protozoal infection, is an important cause of heart failure in Latin America, and the complement system is crucial for the protozoa-host interaction. Thus, complement activation appears to be involved in the pathophysiology of a diverse range of cardiac conditions. Determination of the exact role of complement in the various heart diseases will hopefully help to identify patients that might benefit from therapeutic complement intervention.
Journal review article
Molecular Immunology, 2014, Vol 61, Issue 2, p. 126-134
Animals; Complement System Proteins; Heart Diseases; Humans; Journal Article; Review