The prognostic value of neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio across all stages of coronary artery disease

Raksheeth Agarwal, Ruth G. Aurora, Bambang B. Siswanto, Hary S. Muliawan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The natural history of coronary heart disease (CAD) commonly begins with atherosclerosis, progressing to chronic coronary syndrome (CCS), acute coronary syndrome (ACS), and eventually, heart failure. Despite advancements in preventive and therapeutic strategies, there is room for further cardiovascular risk reduction. Recently, inflammation has emerged as a potential therapeutic target. The neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) is a novel inflammatory biomarker which predicts poor prognosis in several conditions such as metabolic syndrome, sepsis, malignancy and CAD. In atherosclerosis, a high NLR predicts plaque vulnerability and severe stenosis. This is consistent with observations in CCS, where an elevated NLR predicts long-term major adverse cardiac events (MACEs). In ACS patients, high NLR levels are associated with larger infarct sizes and poor long-term outcomes. Possible reasons for this include failure of fibrinolysis, ischemia-reperfusion injury and in-stent restenosis, all of which are associated with raised NLR levels. Following myocardial infarction, an elevated NLR correlates with pathological cardiac remodeling which propagates chronic heart failure. Finally, in heart failure patients, an elevated NLR predicts long-term MACEs, mortality, and poor left ventricular assist device and transplant outcomes. Further studies must evaluate whether the addition of NLR to current risk-stratification models can better identify high-risk CAD patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-143
Number of pages7
JournalCoronary Artery Disease
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2022


  • acute coronary syndrome
  • coronary artery disease
  • heart failure
  • inflammation


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