AHA Scientific Statement: Biomarkers of Heart Failure

“Biomarkers from blood can help detect the presence of Heart Failure, determine its severity, assess risk of future events, and guide therapy. The following discussion focuses on biomarkers that are NOT part of the routine clinical evaluation of patients but rather are obtained specifically to further assess prognosis and possibly direct HF therapy. Individual biomarkers are categorized according to their primary pathophysiological mechanism, although multiple pathways may also be involved.”

Circulation


Circulation

Scientific Statement

April 2017

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Natriuretic peptides have led the way as a diagnostic and prognostic tool for the diagnosis and management of heart failure (HF). More recent evidence suggests that natriuretic peptides along with the next generation of biomarkers may provide added value to medical management, which could potentially lower risk of mortality and readmissions. The purpose of this scientific statement is to summarize the existing literature and to provide guidance for the utility of currently available biomarkers.

METHODS: The writing group used systematic literature reviews, published translational and clinical studies, clinical practice guidelines, and expert opinion/statements to summarize existing evidence and to identify areas of inadequacy requiring future research. The panel reviewed the most relevant adult medical literature excluding routine laboratory tests using MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Web of Science through December 2016. The document is organized and classified according to the American Heart Association to provide specific suggestions, considerations, or contemporary clinical practice recommendations.

RESULTS: A number of biomarkers associated with HF are well recognized, and measuring their concentrations in circulation can be a convenient and noninvasive approach to provide important information about disease severity and helps in the detection, diagnosis, prognosis, and management of HF. These include natriuretic peptides, soluble suppressor of tumorgenicity 2, highly sensitive troponin, galectin-3, midregional proadrenomedullin, cystatin-C, interleukin-6, procalcitonin, and others. There is a need to further evaluate existing and novel markers for guiding therapy and to summarize their data in a standardized format to improve communication among researchers and practitioners.

CONCLUSIONS: Heart failure is a complex syndrome involving diverse pathways and pathological processes that can manifest in circulation as biomarkers. A number of such biomarkers are now clinically available, and monitoring their concentrations in blood not only can provide the clinician information about the diagnosis and severity of HF but also can improve prognostication and treatment strategies.