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Growth-differentiation factor 15 as predictor of mortality in acute reperfused ST-elevation myocardial infarction: insights from cardiovascular magnetic resonance
  1. Ingo Eitel,
  2. Patrick Blase,
  3. Volker Adams,
  4. Lysann Hildebrand,
  5. Steffen Desch,
  6. Gerhard Schuler,
  7. Holger Thiele
  1. Department of Internal Medicine/Cardiology, University of Leipzig, Heart Center, Leipzig, Germany
  1. Correspondence to Dr Ingo Eitel, Department of Internal Medicine/Cardiology, University of Leipzig, Heart Center, Strümpellstrasse 39, Leipzig 04289, Germany; ingoeitel{at}


Objective Growth-differentiation factor 15 (GDF-15), a stress-responsive member of the transforming growth factor beta cytokine superfamily, has emerged as a biomarker of increased mortality in cardiovascular disease. However, the exact pathophysiological mechanisms of GDF-15 in the cardiovascular system and in acute ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) are not well defined. The aim of this study was to determine the relation between GDF-15 and myocardial damage assessed by cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging and to evaluate the prognostic value of GDF-15 in a high-risk STEMI population exclusively reperfused by primary angioplasty.

Design, setting, patients GDF-15 concentrations were determined by an ELISA in 238 consecutive patients undergoing primary angioplasty in STEMI less than 12 h after symptom onset. Patients were categorised into two groups defined by the median GDF-15 value on admission. CMR was performed 3 days (IQR 2–4) after infarction for assessment of infarct size, myocardial salvage and microvascular obstruction. The primary clinical endpoint was mortality within 6 months after the index event.

Results Elevated GDF-15 concentrations over and above the median on admission were a strong predictor of mortality (19 vs one death, p<0.001) and major adverse cardiac events (27 vs nine events, p=0.001) at 6 months follow-up. Myocardial salvage was an inverse multivariable predictor of GDF-15 concentrations.

Conclusions GDF-15 on admission is a strong predictor of mortality in patients with STEMI reperfused by primary angioplasty, which is associated with decreased myocardial salvage and subsequent adverse clinical outcome.

Clinical trail registration number NCT00463749.

  • Cardiovascular magnetic resonance
  • growth-differentiation factor-15
  • MRI
  • prognosis
  • ST-elevation myocardial infarction

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  • Funding This work was supported by Rhön Klinikum AG, Germany.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval This study was conducted with the approval of the University of Leipzig.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.