Objectives: We sought to determine the relationship between osteoprotegerin (OPG) and clinical outcomes in patients with heart failure (HF) after acute myocardial infarction (AMI).
Background: Arterial calcification is a prominent feature of arterial atherosclerosis and is associated with the occurrence of AMI. Osteoprotegerin is a recently discovered member of the tumor necrosis superfamily that may link the skeletal with the vascular system.
Methods: We assayed plasma OPG levels in 234 patients with AMI complicated with HF and their relation to adverse outcomes during follow-up in patients randomly assigned to angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibition or angiotensin II antagonism. Blood was sampled at baseline (median three days after AMI), one month, and at one and two years.
Results: Elevated plasma levels of OPG at baseline were associated with adverse outcomes during a median of 27 months follow-up; OPG remained an independent prognostic indicator also after adjustment for other known predictors of mortality and cardiovascular events after AMI (e.g., creatinine clearance, N-terminal B-type natriuretic peptide, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein). In non-survivors, plasma OPG levels were persistently elevated during longitudinal testing, suggesting that OPG may be of value for monitoring patients at risk.
Conclusions: Osteoprotegerin is a novel marker for cardiovascular mortality and clinical events in patients with AMI complicated with HF. These findings are compatible with the hypothesis suggesting a possible association between mediators of bone homeostasis and cardiovascular disease.