MicroRNA Detection Exhibits Value in Acute Heart Failure Diagnosis


Data show the expression levels of miR-214, BNP, NT-proBNP, and sST2 were significantly higher compared to the control group.

While the prevalence of patients with acute heart failure (AHF) is increasing, there are limitations in medical diagnostic technology, despite recent improvements.

A recent study analyzed the expression of microRNAs, including miR-214, B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP), N terminal pro BNP (NT-proBNP), and soluble ST2 (sST2) in patients with AHF to determine the diagnostic relationship between the molecules and the disease.

Investigators, led by Lingling Yao, Department of Cardiology, Renmin Hospital, Hubei University of Medicine, found the microRNAs can be used as effective biomarkers for AHF, noting a new strategy for diagnosis and determining severity of AHF.


Data was collected on patients with AHF from February 2018 - February 2020.

Inclusion criteria consisted of New York Heart Association (NYHA) function class II-IV, left ventricular ejection fraction <55% by echocardiography, and normal function of liver, kidney, and other organs.

Investigators collected 3 - 5 mL blood from all patients after overnight fasting.

Further, expression levels of BNP level, NT-proBNP level, and sST2 level were detected through each respective detection kit.

In addition, the team collected miR-214 following the use of a sterile negative pressure suction sputum retention device.

Data was analyzed using a t-test to compare continuous variables and a chi-square test to compare all categorical data, while statistical significance was set at P <.05.


A total of 176 patients with AHF were included in the study.

Investigators noted the NYHA classification system showed 60 patients were class II, 59 patients were class III and 57 patients were class IV.

Another 60 patients who came to the hospital for a physical examination at the same time as the study were considered the control group.

The team found the morbidity of CV diseases was higher in the AHF group when compared to the control group (P <0.05).

Furthermore, the expression of miR-21, BNP, NT-proBNP, and sST2 in the AHF group showed significantly higher levels than the control group (P <.05).

The team found the expression level of the microRNAs were all significantly higher in the AHF group than the control group (P <0.05).

In addition, the expression level of molecules in level IV were significantly higher than level III (P <.001) or level II (P <.001), while level III was significantly higher than level II (P <.001).

Data show the area under the ROC curve of miR-214, BNP, NT-proBNP and sST2 was 0.913, 0.836, 0.849 and 0.855, which they noted showed a good diagnostic value.


Investigators concluded the microRNAs in the study can be an effective biomarker for the diagnosis of AHF.

“The results showed that the expression levels of miR-214, BNP, NT-proBNP, and sST2 increased with the aggravation of cardiac function classification,” investigators wrote. “Therefore, their expression levels can be used as an important indicator of the severity of patients with AHF.”

The study, “Diagnostic performance of miR-214, BNP, NT-proBNP and soluble ST2 in acute heart failure,” was published online in The International Journal of Clinical Practice.

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