Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common clinically relevant arrhythmia. AF is a strong independent risk factor for the subsequent development of heart failure (HF). HF and AF can interact to perpetuate and exacerbate each other. Soluble ST2 (sST2) is a biomarker of cardiomyocyte stretch that is useful in the diagnosis and prognosis of HF. Its role in the field of AF has not yet been well investigated. We studied the concentration of sST2 in a cohort of 174 subjects (62.1% men; mean age, 65.6 ± 10.3 years [± standard deviation (SD) ]) with nonvalvular AF and 116 age-matched patients with sinus rhythm (SR). Subjects were subdivided into 3 groups: paroxysmal AF, persistent AF, and SR. Plasma sST2 concentrations were measured using an electrochemiluminescence-based immunoassay. The sST2 level was higher in persistent AF patients (P < 0.05) and paroxysmal AF patients (P < 0.05) than in SR patients. No significant difference was found between persistent AF and paroxysmal AF. sST2 was correlated with left atrial diameter (LAD) (r = 0.21; P < 0.01). During a median follow-up time of 6 months, 43 subjects with non-valvular AF in the study had HF. Cox proportional hazard analysis revealed both sST2 and LAD were independent predictors of HF. sST2 concentrations are higher in AF than SR. Plasma sST2 may be a useful biomarker in predicting HF in patients with AF.
Keywords: Biomarker; Left atrial diameter.