Atherosclerosis (AS), or arteriosclerotic vascular damage, is a medical condition in which the arteries begin to narrow and harden as a result of an accumulation of plates near to the artery wall. The damage gives rise to disorders in the movement of blood around the body, hence bringing the risk of severe health problems. The central aim of this study is to assess serum concentrations of matrix metallopeptidase 9 (MMP-9) and interleukin (IL)-6, IL-12, IL-13, IL-18 and IL-20 in Iraqi AS patients, and to study whether there is an association between MMP-9 and above interlukines in these patients. The study involved 42 Iraqi AS patients and 42 healthy control patients of comparable age and sex. Serum levels of MMP-9, IL-6, IL-12, IL-13, IL-18 and IL-20 were estimated using the commercially available ELISA kit. MMP-9, IL-6, IL-12, IL-13, IL-18 and IL-20 levels displayed a high variation between AS patients and the control group. Notably, the levels were larger in AS patients than in healthy controls, with p-value <0.0001. Positive significant correlations were detected between MMP-9 and IL-6, IL-12, IL-13, IL-18 and IL-20. IL-6 showed the highest value for association and ROC curve in comparison to other ILs. There are high concentrations of MMP-9, IL-6, IL-12, IL-13, IL-18 and IL-20 in the serum of patients with AS, and these may play a role in injury development. Moreover, the concentrations of MMP-9 are positively related with the studied ILs.


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