Matrix Metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9)

The Matrix Metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) test contains 1 test.

Brief Description: The Matrix Metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) test measures the levels of MMP-9, an enzyme that plays a crucial role in the degradation of extracellular matrix proteins, especially during processes like wound healing, tissue remodeling, and inflammation.

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When and Why a Matrix Metalloproteinase-9 Test May Be Ordered

The Matrix Metalloproteinase-9 test may be ordered:

  1. When there is a suspicion of conditions that involve tissue remodeling or excessive inflammation.
  2. To monitor the progression of diseases that are associated with elevated MMP-9 levels.
  3. To evaluate the efficacy of treatments targeting conditions where MMP-9 plays a significant role.

What a Matrix Metalloproteinase-9 Test Checks For

The Matrix Metalloproteinase-9 test specifically measures the concentration of MMP-9 in blood or other bodily fluids. Elevated levels can be indicative of increased tissue remodeling, inflammation, or specific pathological conditions.

Other Lab Tests Ordered Alongside a Matrix Metalloproteinase-9 Test

When evaluating conditions related to inflammation or tissue damage, a healthcare provider might also order:

  1. C-reactive protein (CRP): A marker of inflammation.
  2. Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR): Another indicator of inflammation.
  3. Complete Blood Count (CBC): To get a broad overview of a patient's health and detect disorders such as anemia, infection, and other diseases.
  4. Tests for specific tissue damage markers: Depending on the suspected tissue or organ of involvement.

Conditions or Diseases Requiring a Matrix Metalloproteinase-9 Test

Several conditions might be associated with altered MMP-9 levels:

  1. Cardiovascular Diseases: MMP-9 has been linked to atherosclerosis and aneurysms.
  2. Certain Cancers: Tumors can produce MMP-9, which may play a role in metastasis.
  3. Chronic Wound Healing Disorders: Elevated levels of MMP-9 can be seen in chronic non-healing wounds.
  4. Inflammatory Diseases: Such as rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease.
  5. Respiratory Diseases: Including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma.

How Health Care Providers Use the Results of a Matrix Metalloproteinase-9 Test

  1. Disease Identification: Elevated MMP-9 levels, in conjunction with clinical symptoms and other tests, can help identify specific diseases or conditions.
  2. Monitoring: MMP-9 levels can be used to monitor the progression of certain diseases and assess the response to treatment.
  3. Risk Assessment: High MMP-9 levels in some conditions can indicate a higher risk of complications or severity.
  4. Treatment Decisions: MMP-9 levels can guide healthcare providers in determining appropriate treatments, especially in conditions where tissue remodeling or inflammation is a primary concern.

The test results should always be interpreted in the context of a patient's clinical picture and other diagnostic results.

Most Common Questions About the Matrix Metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) test:

Purpose and Clinical Indications

Why is the Matrix Metalloproteinase-9 test ordered?

The Matrix Metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) test is ordered primarily to assess and monitor certain inflammatory and tissue remodeling conditions. MMP-9 is an enzyme that plays a role in breaking down extracellular matrix, which is crucial in processes like wound healing, tissue remodeling, and inflammation. Elevated levels of MMP-9 have been linked to various conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), certain cancers, and cardiovascular diseases.

How can the Matrix Metalloproteinase-9 test be beneficial in managing diseases?

The Matrix Metalloproteinase-9 test helps in understanding the degree of tissue remodeling or inflammation in specific diseases. For conditions like rheumatoid arthritis or COPD, elevated MMP-9 levels may reflect increased inflammatory activity and tissue degradation. Therefore, monitoring MMP-9 can help in assessing disease activity, response to treatments, or the potential progression of the condition.

Interpretation of Results

What do elevated results in the Matrix Metalloproteinase-9 test indicate?

Elevated levels of MMP-9 in the test suggest an increased activity of inflammation or tissue remodeling. This could be due to a variety of conditions including, but not limited to, rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular diseases, certain cancers, and COPD. It's important to interpret the results in the context of the patient's clinical picture and other diagnostic tests.

Can the Matrix Metalloproteinase-9 test be used to monitor treatment outcomes?

Yes, the Matrix Metalloproteinase-9 test can be used to monitor treatment outcomes, especially in diseases where MMP-9 levels correlate with disease activity. For instance, in rheumatoid arthritis, a decrease in MMP-9 levels after treatment may indicate reduced inflammation and effective response to therapy.

Clinical Implications

Are there specific treatments or interventions that are recommended based on the results of the Matrix Metalloproteinase-9 test?

While the Matrix Metalloproteinase-9 test provides valuable insights into inflammation and tissue degradation, treatment decisions should not be based solely on its results. The test is typically one of many tools used to assess a patient's condition. Treatments or interventions would be determined based on a comprehensive clinical evaluation, of which MMP-9 is a part.

Do patients with chronic inflammatory conditions need to get the Matrix Metalloproteinase-9 test done regularly?

The frequency of the Matrix Metalloproteinase-9 test for patients with chronic inflammatory conditions depends on the specific disease, its stage, and the clinical judgment of the healthcare provider. For some conditions, regular monitoring of MMP-9 can help assess disease progression and the effectiveness of treatments. However, the decision should be tailored to each patient's unique situation.

Relationships with Other Health Conditions

Can conditions outside of tissue inflammation or remodeling lead to altered Matrix Metalloproteinase-9 test results?

Yes, while MMP-9 is primarily associated with tissue inflammation and remodeling, its levels can be altered in other conditions as well. For instance, certain infections or physical trauma can lead to temporary elevation in MMP-9 levels. Therefore, it's essential to consider the broader clinical context when interpreting the results.

How do Matrix Metalloproteinase-9 levels relate to cancer prognosis?

In some cancers, elevated MMP-9 levels have been associated with more aggressive disease and poorer prognosis, as the enzyme can play a role in tumor invasion and metastasis. However, the relationship between MMP-9 and cancer is complex, and its levels alone should not be used to determine prognosis. A comprehensive assessment, including other diagnostic tests and clinical factors, is crucial.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


The following is a list of what is included in the item above. Click the test(s) below to view what biomarkers are measured along with an explanation of what the biomarker is measuring.

*Process times are an estimate and are not guaranteed. The lab may need additional time due to weather, holidays, confirmation/repeat testing, or equipment maintenance.

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