Aims: Evidence links markers of systemic inflammation and heart failure (HF) with ventricular arrhythmias (VA) and/or death. Biomarker levels, and the risk they indicate, may vary over time. We evaluated the utility of serial laboratory measurements of inflammatory biomarkers and HF, using time-dependent analysis.
Methods and results: We prospectively enrolled ambulatory patients with left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) ≤35% and a primary-prevention implanted cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD). Levels of established inflammatory biomarkers [C-reactive protein, erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), suppression of tumourigenicity 2 (ST2), tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α)] and brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) were assessed at 3-month intervals for 1 year. We assessed relationships between biomarkers modelled as time-dependent variables, VA, and death. Among 196 patients (66±14 years, LVEF 23±8%), 33 experienced VA, and 18 died. Using only baseline values, BNP predicted VA, and both BNP and ST2 predicted death. Using serial measurements at 3-month intervals, time-varying BNP independently predicted VA, and time-varying ST2 independently predicted death. C-statistic analysis revealed no significant benefit to repeated testing compared with baseline-only measurement. C-reactive protein, ESR, and TNF-α, either at baseline or over time, did not predict either endpoint.
Conclusion: In stable ambulatory patients with systolic cardiomyopathy and an ICD, BNP predicts ventricular tachyarrhythmia, and ST2 predicts death. Repeated laboratory measurements over a year's time do not improve risk stratification beyond baseline measurement alone.
Clinical trial registration: Clinicaltrials.gov NCT01892462 (https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01892462).
Keywords: Biomarker; Brain natriuretic peptide; Cardiomyopathy; Inflammation; Suppression of tumourigenicity 2; Ventricular tachyarrhythmia.
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