ST2 protein is the interleukin 33 (IL-33) receptor, whose serum level depends on the biomechanical strain of cardiac myocytes. The aim of this study was to analyse the relationship between soluble ST2 (sST2) level and traditional factors in patients with chronic heart failure.
Material and methods
Sixty-six patients (mean age 62 years, 75% males) in stable NYHA class I-III with left ventricular ejection fraction < 45% were included in the study. Clinical, biochemical, electrocardiographic, echocardiographic and angiographic data were analysed. Patients were divided into groups depending on sST2 median: > 0.28 ng/ml (n = 31) vs. ≤ 0.28 ng/ml (n = 35). sST2 was measured using a quantitative ELISA kit. In order to define factors associated with sST2 levels uni- and multivariate regression analysis was performed.
There was no relationship between sST2 levels and age (p = 0.67), body mass index (p = 0.19), hsTnT (p = 0.7) or other analysed parameters (all p > 0.05), except for N-terminal prohormone B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP). A significant positive correlation between sST2 and NT-proBNP was found (p = 0.013, R = 0.395). Multivariate analysis revealed that the stage of coronary artery disease and NT-proBNP were independent factors associated with sST2 concentration (p = 0.04). Intriguing is the fact that the fewer the sclerotic changes present in arteries, the higher was the sST2 level (β = –0.381, p = 0.04).
sST2 protein is independent of traditional factors which usually affect levels of NT-proBNP. In chronic heart failure, sST2 protein may be of greater importance in idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy than in ischaemic aetiology, which seems to be associated with the molecular mechanism (biomechanical strain) related to sST2.