Rationale: Aberrant expression profiles of circulating microRNAs (miRNAs) have been described in various diseases and provide high sensitivity and specificity. We explored circulating miRNAs as potential biomarkers in patients with heart failure (HF).
Objective: The goal of this study was to determine whether miRNAs allow to distinguish clinical HF not only from healthy controls but also from non-HF forms of dyspnea.
Methods and results: A miRNA array was performed on plasma of 12 healthy controls and 12 HF patients. From this array, we selected 16 miRNAs for a second clinical study in 39 healthy controls and in 50 cases with reports of dyspnea, of whom 30 were diagnosed with HF and 20 were diagnosed with dyspnea attributable to non-HF-related causes. This revealed that miR423-5p was specifically enriched in blood of HF cases and receiver-operator-characteristics (ROC) curve analysis showed miR423-5p to be a diagnostic predictor of HF, with an area under the curve of 0.91 (P<0.001). Five other miRNAs were elevated in HF cases but also slightly increased in non-HF dyspnea cases.
Conclusion: We identify 6 miRNAs that are elevated in patients with HF, among which miR423-5p is most strongly related to the clinical diagnosis of HF. These 6 circulating miRNAs provide attractive candidates as putative biomarkers for HF.