RNA-based diagnostic and therapeutic strategies for cardiovascular disease

Nat Rev Cardiol. 2019 Nov;16(11):661-674. doi: 10.1038/s41569-019-0218-x. Epub 2019 Jun 11.


Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death globally and are associated with increasing financial expenditure. With the availability of next-generation sequencing technologies since the early 2000s, non-coding RNAs such as microRNAs, long non-coding RNAs and circular RNAs have been assessed as potential therapeutic targets for numerous diseases, including cardiovascular diseases. In this Review, we summarize current approaches employed to screen for novel coding and non-coding RNA candidates with diagnostic and therapeutic potential in cardiovascular disease, including next-generation sequencing, functional high-throughput RNA screening and single-cell sequencing technologies. Furthermore, we highlight viral-based delivery tools that have been widely used to evaluate the therapeutic utility of both coding and non-coding RNAs in the context of cardiovascular disease. Finally, we discuss the potential of using oligonucleotide-based molecular products such as modified RNA, small interfering RNA and RNA mimics/inhibitors for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases. Given that many non-coding RNAs have not yet been functionally annotated, the number of potential RNA diagnostic and therapeutic targets for cardiovascular diseases will continue to expand for years to come.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / metabolism
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / therapy*
  • Gene Transfer Techniques
  • Genetic Therapy / methods*
  • High-Throughput Screening Assays
  • Humans
  • MicroRNAs / blood*
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • RNA, Circular / metabolism*
  • RNA, Long Noncoding / metabolism*
  • RNA-Seq


  • Biomarkers
  • MicroRNAs
  • RNA, Circular
  • RNA, Long Noncoding