Soluble urokinase plasminogen activator receptor (suPAR) is a novel, independent predictive marker of myocardial infarction in HIV-1-infected patients: a nested case-control study

HIV Med. 2016 May;17(5):350-7. doi: 10.1111/hiv.12315. Epub 2015 Sep 14.


Objectives: Patients infected with HIV are at increased risk of myocardial infarction (MI). Increased plasma levels of the inflammatory biomarker soluble urokinase plasminogen activator receptor (suPAR) have been associated with increased risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVD), including MI in the general population. We tested suPAR as a predictive biomarker of MI in HIV-1-infected individuals.

Methods: suPAR levels were investigated in a nested case-control study of 55 HIV-1-infected cases with verified first-time MI and 182 HIV-1-infected controls with no known CVD. Controls were matched for age, gender, duration of antiretroviral therapy (ART), smoking and no known CVD. suPAR was measured in the four plasma samples available for each patient at different time-points; 1, Before initiation of ART; 2, 3 months after initiation of ART; 3, 1 year before the case's MI; and 4, The last sample available before the case's MI.

Results: In unadjusted conditional regression analysis, higher levels of suPAR were associated with a significant increase in risk of MI at all time-points. Patients in the third and fourth suPAR quartiles had a three- to 10-fold higher risk of MI compared to patients in the lowest suPAR quartile at all time-points. suPAR remained a strong significant predictor of MI, when adjusting for HIV-1 RNA, total cholesterol, triglycerides and high-density lipoprotein.

Conclusion: Elevated suPAR levels were associated with increased risk of MI in HIV-infected patients, suggesting that suPAR could be a useful biomarker for prediction of first-time MI in this patient group, even years before the event.

Keywords: atherosclerosis; biomarker; cardiovascular disease; inflammation; lipids.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / complications*
  • HIV Infections / enzymology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Infarction / blood
  • Myocardial Infarction / etiology*
  • Receptors, Urokinase Plasminogen Activator / blood*
  • Receptors, Urokinase Plasminogen Activator / genetics
  • Regression Analysis
  • Risk Factors


  • Biomarkers
  • PLAUR protein, human
  • Receptors, Urokinase Plasminogen Activator