Introduction Atrial fibrillation (AF) affects 2% of the population and is associated with cardiovascular disease and increased stroke and mortality rates. The myocardium releases proteins (SCF, VEGF-D and BNPs). Detection of such markers in blood could be used to differentiate specific types of AF, or to guide screening for silent, undiagnosed AF.
Aim To identify plasma proteins discerning between patients with and without AF.
Methods We studied blood from consecutive patients undergoing CT coronary angiography at Maastricht Medical center. We only enrolled patients without a history of stroke, hypertension, diabetes or heart failure. Using unique DNA-coupled paired antibodies and qPCR, we simultaneously analysed 92 plasma proteins. CCL21 protein was measured by ELISA (n = 240). Stats: Mann-Whitney test, mean normalized protein expression (NPX) +/-SEM.
Results 176 patients (paroxysmal AF=50, sinus rhythm (SR) controls=126) were analysed. Mean age was 54 years in both groups. Nâ€” terminal fragment proB-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) protein was higher in patients with than in those without AF (6.23 ± 0.62 vs 4.72 ± 0.33, p = 0.012, n = 176). We also performed an exploratory analysis only in patients without signs of coronary artery disease on CTCA (AF=27, SR=80). In this subgroup, NT-proBNP (6.478 ± 0.8442 vs 4.554 ± 0.4122, p = 0.023*), BNP (1.111 ± 0.083 vs 0.9713 ± 0.029, p = 0.0175*), Stem Cell Factor (SCF, 162.8 ± 7.860 vs 140.4 ± 5.127 p = 0.0097**) and VEGF-D (47.44 ± 2.708 vs 41.38 ± 1.694 p = 0.0389*) were higher in the 27 patients with AF.
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