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Heart failure biomarkers: the importance of cardiac specificity

PhD ceremony:Mr A. (Arnold) Piek
When:December 09, 2020
Supervisors:dr. H.H.W. (Herman) Sillje, prof. dr. R.A. (Rudolf) de Boer
Where:Academy building RUG
Faculty:Medical Sciences / UMCG

In this thesis, three different approaches to study biomarkers (bioinformatics, animal models and clinical cohorts) were combined to improve our knowledge on HF biomarker biology, clinical utility, and HF biomarkers as treatment targets. The results of our unique and elaborate approach shed new light on the biomarker field as a whole. We showed that many novel HF biomarkers lack cardiac specificity and are produced by non-cardiac organs and tissues. Relating the levels of these markers to processes of pathological processes in the heart seems therewith impossible. Nevertheless, non-specific markers might still have clinical value, for example as markers of peripheral effects of HF or as pharmacological treatment targets. Finally, this thesis showed that for future biomarker studies it is indispensable to investigate tissue origin of markers in order to improve their specificity and therewith their clinical utility.