Aims: Growth-differentiation factor-15 (GDF-15) is a transforming growth factor-beta-related cytokine that is induced in the heart following ischaemia-reperfusion injury. We explored the prognostic utility of GDF-15 in patients with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) receiving fibrinolytic therapy.
Methods and results: Circulating levels of GDF-15 were determined by an immunoradiometric assay in 741 STEMI patients who were included in the Assessment of the Safety and Efficacy of a New Thrombolytic (ASSENT)-2 and ASSENT-plus trials. About 72.7% of the patients presented with GDF-15 levels > or =1200 ng/L, the upper limit of normal in apparently healthy elderly individuals. Increased levels of GDF-15 were associated with a higher risk of death during 1-year follow-up. Mortality rates at 1 year were 2.1, 5.0, and 14.0% in patients with GDF-15 levels <1200, 1200-1800, and >1800 ng/L, respectively (P < 0.001). GDF-15 remained an independent predictor of mortality after adjustment for clinical variables, troponin T, and N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP). GDF-15 provided prognostic information in clinically relevant patient subgroups, defined according to age, gender, cardiovascular risk factors, haemodynamic status, and the TIMI risk score. Moreover, GDF-15 added prognostic information to the established biomarkers of adverse prognosis in STEMI, troponin T, and NT-proBNP.
Conclusion: GDF-15 is a new biomarker in STEMI that provides prognostic information beyond established clinical and biochemical markers.