Circulating microRNAs may have diagnostic potential in acute coronary syndrome (ACS). Previous studies, however, were based on low patient numbers and could not assess the relation of microRNAs to clinical characteristics and their potential prognostic value. We thus assessed the diagnostic and prognostic value of cardiomyocyte-enriched microRNAs in the context of clinical variables and a sensitive myonecrosis biomarker in a larger ACS cohort. MiR-1, miR-133a, miR-133b, miR-208a, miR-208b, and miR-499 concentrations were measured by quantitative reverse transcription PCR in plasma samples obtained on admission from 444 patients with ACS. High-sensitivity troponin T (hsTnT) was measured by immunoassay. Patients were followed for 6 months regarding all-cause mortality. In a multiple linear regression analysis that included clinical variables and hsTnT, miR-1, miR-133a, miR-133b, and miR-208b were independently associated with hsTnT levels (all P<0.001). Patients with myocardial infarction presented with higher levels of miR-1, miR-133a, and miR-208b compared with patients with unstable angina. However, all six investigated microRNAs showed a large overlap between patients with unstable angina or myocardial infarction. MiR-133a and miR-208b levels were significantly associated with the risk of death in univariate and age- and gender-adjusted analyses. Both microRNAs lost their independent association with outcome upon further adjustment for hsTnT. The present study tempers speculations about the potential usefulness of cardiomyocyte-enriched microRNAs as diagnostic or prognostic markers in ACS.
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