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This prospective study evaluated the early increase in markers of inflammation after coronary stenting, and the predictors of early rise. Elevation of markers of inflammation after percutaneous coronary intervention correlates with an increased risk of adverse events. The role of soluble CD40 ligand (sCD40L) as a potential initiator of inflammation after stenting has not been described.Seventy-five patients were treated with heparin alone (n=25), or randomized to adjuvant treatment with eptifibatide (n=26) or abciximab (n=24) during stenting. Systemic blood was obtained before coronary stenting and at 10 min after stenting. C-reactive protein (CRP), interleukin (IL)-6, IL-1 receptor antagonist and sCD40L were determined by enzyme liberated immunosorbent assay.sCD40L exhibited the greatest relative rise (35%, P=0.01 compared to concentrations before intervention) in the first 10 min after stenting. In a logistic regression model, an early increase in the concentration of sCD40L was predicted by baseline laboratory values (white blood count and sCD40L level before stenting) and procedural characteristics (number of stents and glycoprotein IIb-IIIa inhibitor assignment).In conclusion, a systemic inflammatory response is detectable 10 min after coronary stent placement. The early increase in sCD40L suggests a possible role for this marker in the initiation of inflammation after coronary stenting.