Background: Osteopontin (OPN) is a pleiotropic cytokine that has been postulated to play a role in the pathogenesis of idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (IPAH). OPN plasma levels may be related to disease severity and mortality in patients with PAH.
Methods: OPN plasma levels obtained during right-sided heart catheterization were assessed by a commercially available enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and related to hemodynamics, exercise capacity, N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-pro-BNP) level, uric acid level, C-reactive protein level, and survival in two cohorts of patients with IPAH: a 4-year retrospective cohort (n = 70) and a prospective cohort (n = 25) followed for 3 months after initiation of therapy. Forty apparently healthy individuals served as control subjects.
Results: Baseline OPN levels were elevated in patients with IPAH compared with healthy control subjects (50.2 ± 35.9 vs 23.7 ± 2.8 ng/mL, P < .0001). In the retrospective as well as in the prospective cohort, OPN levels correlated with mean right atrial pressure and NT-BNP. In the retrospective cohort, OPN levels also correlated with age (r = 0.3, P = .02), 6-min walking distance (r=-0.4, P = .05), and New York Heart Association class (r = 0.4, P = .001). Multivariate Cox analysis demonstrated that baseline OPN levels were independent predictors of mortality (P = .02). When patients were divided according to their baseline OPN values, being normal or elevated at baseline (below or above 34.5 ng/mL), proportional survival rates were 100% vs 80% after 1 year and 77% vs 51% after 3 years, respectively.
Conclusion: Circulating OPN predicts survival in patients with IPAH and is associated with a higher New York Heart Association class. OPN, thus, may be useful as a biomarker in IPAH.