Relation of Biomarkers of Cardiac Injury, Stress, and Fibrosis with Cardiac Mechanics in Individuals ≥ 65 Years of Age.

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High sensitivity cardiac troponin T (hscTnT), soluble ST2 (sST2), N-terminal B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP), and galectin-3 (gal-3) are biomarkers of cardiac injury, stress, myocardial stretch and fibrosis. Elevated levels are associated with poor outcomes. However, their association with cardiac mechanics in older persons is unknown. Associations between these biomarkers and cardiac mechanics derived from speckle tracking echocardiography, including left ventricular longitudinal strain (LVLS), early diastolic strain (LVEDSR) and left atrial reservoir strain (LARS) were evaluated using standardized beta coefficients (β^) in a cross sectional analysis with cardiac biomarkers among older individuals without cardiovascular disease (CVD), low ejection fraction (EF) or wall motion abnormalities (WMA). Biomarker associations with strain were attenuated by demographics and risk factors. In adjusted models, LVLS was associated with continuous measures of hscTnT (β∧-0.06, p = 0.020), sST2 (β∧ -0.05, p = 0.024) and NT-proBNP (β∧ -0.06, p = 0.007). "High" levels (i.e. greater than prognostic cutpoint) of hscTnT (>13 ng/ml), sST2 (>35 ng/ml), and NT-proBNP (>190 pg/mL) were also associated with worse LVLS. In risk factor adjusted models, LARS was associated with hscTnT (β∧ -0.08, p = 0.003) and NT-proBNP (β∧-0.18, p <0.0001). High hscTnT (>13 ng/mL) and high NT-proBNP (>190 pg/mL) were also both associated with worse LARS. Gal-3 was not associated with any strain measure. In conclusion, in persons ≥ 65 years of age, without CVD, low EF, or WMA, hscTnT, sST2, and NT-proBNP are associated with worse LVLS. HscTnT and NT-proBNP are associated with worse LARS. In conclusion, these subclinical increases in blood biomarkers, and their associations with subtle diastolic and systolic dysfunction, may represent pre-clinical heart failure.

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