INTRODUCTION: Marked changes occur in the collagen framework of the heart following acute ischemia, which is associated with adverse ventricular remodelling. Plasma markers of collagen turnover are useful in the assessment of remodelling and have predictive value, but their exact temporal dynamics following ischemia are unclear. OBJECTIVE: To characterize the early temporal dynamics of plasma markers of collagen turnover in a human model of coronary artery occlusion. METHODS: Fourteen patients undergoing elective percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) to a single coronary artery were recruited in addition to a control group of eight patients undergoing elective diagnostic coronary arteriography. Sequential assessment of plasma levels of procollagen type I carboxyterminal propeptide and C-telopeptide for type I collagen (CITP) as markers of synthesis and degradation, respectively, was performed over a 16 h period. RESULTS: The ischemic burden in the PCI group was high, with 13 of the 14 patients demonstrating transient ST segment shift or positive troponin. Mean plasma levels of CITP on admission were 3.1 ng/mL and 3.0 ng/mL in the PCI and control groups, respectively (P value nonsignificant). There was a sequential increase in plasma CITP following PCI, peaking at 4.7 ng/mL at 16 h (P<0.01), with no change in the control group. There were no significant changes in plasma levels of procollagen type I carboxyterminal propeptide in either group. CONCLUSIONS: Plasma levels of CITP demonstrated early temporal dynamics of collagen degradation following transient coronary artery occlusion supporting the use of plasma markers of collagen turnover as an early tool in the assessment of the remodelling process following myocardial ischemia.