Biological variation of galectin-3 and soluble ST2 for chronic heart failure: implication on interpretation of test results

Am Heart J. 2013 Jun;165(6):995-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ahj.2013.02.029. Epub 2013 Apr 6.


Background: Galectin-3 and soluble ST2 (sST2) are novel serum biomarkers of chronic heart failure.

Methods and results: The biological variability of galectin-3 and sST2 was measured from a cohort of 17 healthy subjects where blood was taken once every 2 weeks for 8 weeks (n = 4 samples) and from 12 subjects where blood was taken hourly (for galectin-3 only). The analytical, intraindividual, and interindividual variation were measured for galectin-3 (BG Medicine, Waltham, MA) and sST2 (Critical Diagnostics, San Diego, CA). From these measurements, the reference change (RCV) and index of individuality was 39% (hourly) and 61% (weekly) and 1.0 (hourly and weekly) for galectin-3. Corresponding RCV and index of individuality values for sST2 were 30% and 0.25.

Conclusion: The RCV result for sST2 was lower than the corresponding results for galectin-3, B-type natriuretic peptide, and N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide. These data suggest that sST2 may be more useful for monitoring long-term heart failure, and galectin-3 may be more useful for the diagnosis of heart failure remodeling.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Disease Progression
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Galectin 3 / blood*
  • Heart Failure / blood*
  • Heart Failure / diagnosis
  • Heart Failure / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-1 Receptor-Like 1 Protein
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / blood*
  • Receptors, Interleukin-1
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Stroke Volume
  • Young Adult


  • Biomarkers
  • Galectin 3
  • IL1RL1 protein, human
  • Interleukin-1 Receptor-Like 1 Protein
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Receptors, Interleukin-1