Circulating microRNAs (miRNAs) hold great potential as novel diagnostic markers for acute coronary syndrome (ACS). This study sought to identify plasma miRNAs that are differentially expressed in young ACS patients (mean age of 38.5 ± 4.3 years) and evaluate their diagnostic potentials. Small RNA sequencing (sRNA-seq) was used to profile plasma miRNAs. Discriminatory power of the miRNAs was determined using receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis. Thirteen up-regulated and 16 down-regulated miRNAs were identified in young ACS patients. Quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) validation showed miR-183-5p was significantly up-regulated (8-fold) in ACS patients with non-ST-segment elevated myocardial infarction (NSTEMI) whereas miR-134-5p, miR-15a-5p, and let-7i-5p were significantly down-regulated (5-fold, 7-fold and 3.5-fold, respectively) in patients with ST-segment elevated myocardial infarction (STEMI), compared to the healthy controls. MiR-183-5p had a high discriminatory power to differentiate NSTEMI patients from healthy controls (area under the curve (AUC) of ROC = 0.917). The discriminatory power for STEMI patients was highest with let-7i-5p (AUC = 0.833) followed by miR-134-5p and miR-15a-5p and this further improved (AUC = 0.935) with the three miRNAs combination. Plasma miR-183-5p, miR-134-5p, miR-15a-5p and let-7i-5p are deregulated in STEMI and NSTEMI and could be potentially used to discriminate the two ACS forms.
Keywords: NSTEMI; STEMI; acute coronary syndrome; circulating microRNAs.