The prognostic value of plasma galectin-3 in chronic heart failure patients is maintained when treated with mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists

PLoS One. 2015 Mar 18;10(3):e0119160. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0119160. eCollection 2015.


Objective: Galectin-3 (Gal-3) is considered as a myocardial fibrosis biomarker with prognostic value in heart failure (HF). Since aldosterone is a neurohormone with established fibrotic properties, we aimed to investigate if mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists (MRAs) would modulate the prognostic value of Gal-3.

Methods: The IBLOMAVED cohort comprised 427 eligible chronic HF patients (CHF) with echocardiography and heart failure biomarkers assessments (BNP). After propensity score matching CHF patients for cardiovascular risk factors, to form balanced groups, Gal-3 levels were measured at baseline in plasma from patients treated with MRAs (MRA-Plus, n=101) or not (MRA-Neg, n=101). The primary end point was all-cause mortality with a follow-up of 3 years.

Results: Gal-3 in plasma from these patients were similar with median values of 14.0 ng/mL [IQR, 9.9-19.3] and 14.4 ng/mL [IQR, 12.3-19.8] (P = 0.132) in MRA-Neg and MRA-Plus, respectively. Patients with Gal-3 ≤17.8 ng/mL had an HR of 1 (reference group) and 1.5 [0.4-5.7] in MRA-Neg and MRA-Plus, respectively (p=0.509). Patients with Gal-3 ≥ 17.8 ng/mL had an HR of 7.4 [2.2-24.6] and 9.0 [2.9-27.8] in MRA-Plus and MRA-Neg, respectively (p=0.539) and a median survival time of 2.4 years [95%CI,1.8-2.4]. Multivariate Cox proportional hazard analysis confirmed that MRA and the interaction term between MRA treatment and Gal-3 >17.8 ng/mL were not factors associated with survival.

Conclusions: MRA treatment did not impair the prognostic value of Gal-3 assessed with a 17.8 ng/mL cut off. Gal-3 levels maintained its strong prognostic value in CHF also in patients treated with MRAs. The significance of the observed lack of an interaction between Gal-3 and treatment effect of MRAs remains to be elucidated.

Trial registration: NCT01024049.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Chronic Disease
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Galectin 3 / blood*
  • Heart Failure / blood*
  • Heart Failure / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mineralocorticoid Receptor Antagonists / therapeutic use*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Biomarkers
  • Galectin 3
  • Mineralocorticoid Receptor Antagonists

Associated data


Grant support

This work was supported by BioMerieux. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.