Gremlin-1, an intrinsic antagonist of bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling, has been implicated in the pathophysiology of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). However, it is unknown whether gremlin-1 can be detected in the circulation of PAH patients and whether it is associated with patients' functional status and outcome. With a mean level of 242 ± 24 ng/ml, gremlin-1 levels of 31 PAH patients were significantly elevated compared to 151 ± 18 ng/ml in 15 age- and gender-matched healthy subject (p = 0.016). In PAH patients, increasing gremlin-1 levels correlated with N-terminal prohormone of brain natriuretic peptide levels (r = 0.608, p < 0.001) and inversely with the 6-minute walking distance (r = -0.412, p = 0.029). Furthermore, gremlin-1 significantly stratified survival in PAH patients (p = 0.015). Gremlin-1 may represent a new biomarker for PAH which can be linked directly to the underlying pathomechanism. Elevated levels of gremlin-1 are associated with patients' functional status and survival, thus gremlin-1 neutralization could represent a potential therapeutic strategy to increase BMPR2 signaling.