sFlt-1 and NTproBNP independently predict mortality in a cohort of heart failure patients.

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Objective: Soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase-1 (sFlt-1) is a circulating receptor for VEGF-A. Recent reports of elevated plasma levels of sFlt-1 in coronary heart disease and heart failure (HF) motivated our study aimed at investigating the utility of sFlt-1 as a prognostic biomarker in heart failure patients. Methods: ELISA assays for sFlt-1 and NTproBNP were performed in n=858 patients from a prospective multicentre, observational study (the PEOPLE study) of outcome among patients after appropriate treatment for an episode of acute decompensated HF in New Zealand. Plasma was sampled at a baseline visit and stored at -80°C. Statistical tests were adjusted for patient age at baseline visit, skewed data were log-adjusted and the endpoint for clinical outcome analysis was all-cause death. Patients were followed for a median of 3.63 (range 0.74-5.50) years. Results: Mean baseline plasma sFlt-1 was 125 +/- 2.01 pg/ml. sFlt-1 was higher in patients with HF with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) (130 +/- 2.62 pg/ml, n=553) compared to those with HF with preserved EF (HFpEF) (117 +/-3.59 pg/ml, n=305; p=0.005). sFlt-1 correlated with heart rate (r=0.148, p<0.001), systolic blood pressure (r=-0.139, p<0.001) and LVEF (r=-0.088, p=0.019). A Cox proportional hazards model showed sFlt-1 was a predictor of all-cause death (HR=6.30, p<0.001) in the PEOPLE cohort independent of age, NTproBNP, ischaemic aetiology, and NYHA class (n=842, 274 deaths), established predictors of mortality in the PEOPLE cohort. Conclusion: sFlt-1 levels at baseline should be investigated further as a predictor of death; complementary to established prognostic biomarkers in heart failure.
heart disease, plasma biomarker, heart failure, mortality