Researchers find effective biomarker panel for heart failure outcomes

Researchers have homed in on a set of 7 biomarkers that can predict mortality rates in chronic heart failure patients more accurately than currently used methods, such as the Seattle Heart Failure Model.

The scientists, including Dr. Bonnie Ky of the University of Pennsylvania, selected biomarkers that characterized specific outcomes associated with heart failure, such as creatinine (renal function), uric acid (oxidative stress) and troponin I (myocite injury). The 1,513 patient study showed that the biomarker panel was more effective than SHFM, which estimates one-, two- and three-year survival rates for heart failure patients. Individuals with high scores on the biomarker panel had a 15-times greater risk for an adverse outcome than low scoring patients; those with moderate scores carried a 4.7-fold greater risk.

"These findings do support the concept at least of using multiple biomarkers. However, of course, identifying the optimal panel of markers remains critical," Ky said, as quoted by MedPage Today. The researchers did remove one biomarker--myeloperoxidase--from its final panel.

Heart failure affects 5 million people in the U.S., with 550,000 new cases diagnosed annually, according to the University of Washington, which maintains the SHFM site. More accurate life expectancy predictions help doctors and their patients determine the best treatment options for the disease.

- read the MedPage Today piece