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Heart-type fatty acid binding protein is a novel prognostic marker in patients with non-ischaemic dilated cardiomyopathy


Objective: To determine whether concentrations of heart-type fatty acid binding protein (H-FABP) measured before hospital discharge predict critical cardiac events in patients with idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM).

Patients: 92 consecutive patients with DCM were enrolled and followed up for four years.

Main outcome measures: Serum concentrations of H-FABP, brain natriuretic peptide (BNP), cardiac troponin T before hospital discharge and survival rate.

Results: 23 patients died of cardiac causes, received a left ventricular assist device or underwent heart transplantation during the four-year follow up. Univariate analyses showed that New York Heart Association functional class, heart rate, ejection fraction, serum H-FABP and plasma BNP were significant variables. According to multivariate analysis, serum H-FABP and plasma BNP concentrations were independent predictors of critical cardiac events. Cardiac troponin T before hospital discharge was not a predictor. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve for death from critical cardiac events was similar between H-FABP and BNP. Patients with an H-FABP concentration at or above the median (⩾ 5.4 ng/ml) had a significantly lower survival rate than those below the median, according to analysis by log rank test (p < 0.0001). When combined with BNP concentration at or above the median (⩾ 138 pg/ml), H-FABP below the median predicted the worst prognosis among the combinations.

Conclusions: The concentration of serum H-FABP before discharge from hospital may be an independent predictor for critical cardiac events in DCM.

  • BNP, brain natriuretic peptide
  • cTnT, cardiac troponin T
  • DCM, dilated cardiomyopathy
  • H-FABP, heart-type fatty acid binding protein
  • brain natriuretic peptide
  • cardiac events
  • cardiomyopathy
  • fatty acid binding protein

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