Background: Cardiac performance depends on optimum ventriculoarterial coupling which is impaired in patients with heart failure (HF). Galectin-3 is a mediator of myocardial fibrosis and remodeling, and is associated with clinical status in patients with chronic HF. We examined the association of arterial stiffness with galectin-3 levels in patients with HF of ischemic etiology.
Methods: We consecutively enrolled 40 patients with stable ischemic HF and reduced ejection fraction. Central aortic stiffness was evaluated non-invasively by measuring carotid femoral pulse wave velocity (PWV). Among other factors, serum levels of galectin-3 and b-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) were measured.
Results: The median galectin-3 levels in our study population were 12.9 (10.8-18.7) ng/ml and the mean PWV was 9.31±2.79 m/sec. There was significant association of galectin-3 levels with age (r=0.48, p=0.003), creatinine clearance (r=-0.66, p<0.001) and BNP levels (r=0.36, p=0.05). There was a significant association of galectin-3 levels with PWV (r=0.37, p=0.03) and patients with PWV above median also had significantly increased levels of galectin-3 compared with patients with lower values of PWV [16.1(11.8-25.2) vs. 12.1(10.5-14) ng/ml, p=0.03].
Conclusion: We found an association of arterial stiffness and PWV with galectin-3 levels in patients with chronic HF of ischemic etiology. These findings suggest a pathway driving arterial stiffening and myocardial remodelling in HF. This may provide insight into the mechanism determining prognosis and clinical status of patients with HF.
Keywords: Arterial stiffness, galectin-3, fibrosis, heart failure, pulse wave velocity, myocardial fibrosis, B-type natriuretic peptide.
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