Critical Review of Glutathione level and glutathione reductase activity in serum of coronary heart disease patients

This study by Zuzak et al. investigates glutathione reductase (GR) activity and glutathione (GSH) levels in the serum of patients with different stages of coronary heart disease (CHD). The authors enrolled 20 patients, each with stable angina, unstable angina, and myocardial infarction, along with 20 healthy controls. Blood samples are collected before cardiac catheterization. GR activity and GSH levels are measured using commercially available kits.

The authors find the highest GR activity and GSH levels in unstable angina patients; however, only GR activity in myocardial infarction patients is significantly higher compared to stable angina patients. There are no significant differences in GSH between CHD patients and controls.

Given the known role of oxidative stress in atherosclerosis, the study rationale of examining antioxidant biomarkers in CHD is sound. The authors provide adequate background on GR and GSH’s roles in redox homeostasis. The study groups are reasonably defined, though more details on medications could have been provided. Appropriate statistical tests are utilized. The significant finding of elevated GR activity aligning with acute coronary syndromes is logical.

However, the small sample size of 20 per group raises concerns about statistical power to detect differences between groups. The lack of adjustment for potential confounders like medications is another limitation. Measurement of additional oxidative stress markers could have provided further insights. The speculation about rapid GSH oxidation explaining unchanged GSH levels despite higher GR warrants a direct assessment. This study provides preliminary evidence for increased GR activity in unstable angina and myocardial infarction that merits validation in larger cohorts. Integrating thorough clinical data and additional biomarkers would strengthen the conclusions.


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