Background: Galectin-3 (GAL-3), a β-galactoside-binding protein, is a new clinical biomarker believed to reflect cardiac remodeling/fibrosis in patients with heart failure (HF). Plasma GAL-3 is inversely related to renal function. It is not known whether the relationship between renal function and GAL-3 is influenced by clinical decompensation, type of HF, or the presence or absence of clinical HF.
Methods and results: Patients were prospectively categorized as having acute decompensated HF or stable HF on the basis of clinical status and as having HF with reduced left ventricular ejection fraction or HF with preserved left ventricular ejection fraction. Plasma GAL-3 was measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in patients with HF (n=75), control patients without HF (n=32), and control patients without HF with moderate renal insufficiency (n=12). Compared to controls without HF (14±4 ng/mL), GAL-3 was higher in patients with both acute decompensated HF (23±11 ng/mL) and stable HF (22±10 ng/mL) (P<0.001 versus controls for both) but did not differ between acute decompensated HF and stable HF (P=0.75). Likewise, GAL-3 was elevated in both HF with preserved left ventricular ejection fraction (23±9 ng/mL) and HF with reduced left ventricular ejection fraction (22±11 ng/mL) (P<0.001 versus controls for both) but did not differ between HF with preserved ejection fraction and HF with reduced ejection fraction (P=0.37). GAL-3 correlated strongly with estimated glomerular filtration rate, both in patients with HF (r=-0.75, P<0.001) and in patients without HF (r=-0.82, P<0.001), and this relationship was unaffected by the presence or absence of clinical HF.
Conclusions: Plasma GAL-3 is inversely related to renal function in patients with and without clinical HF. Concentrations of plasma GAL-3 do not seem to depend on the level of compensation or type of HF. Furthermore, the relationship between GAL-3 and renal function seems to be affected little or not at all by the presence or absence of clinical HF.
Keywords: biomarkers; galectin-3; heart failure; kidney.