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Circulation. 2000 Dec 19;102(25):3060-7.

Plasma cytokine parameters and mortality in patients with chronic heart failure.

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  • 1Clinical Cardiology, National Heart and Lung Institute, Royal Brompton Hospital, London, UK.



Inflammatory immune activation is an important feature in chronic heart failure (CHF). Little is known about the prognostic importance of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), soluble TNF-receptor 1 and 2 (sTNF-R1/sTNF-R2), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and soluble CD14 receptors (sCD14) in CHF patients.


In 152 CHF patients (age 61+/-1 years, New York Heart Association [NYHA] class 2.6+/-0.1, peak VO(2) 17.3+/-0.6 mL. kg(-1). min(-1), mean+/-SEM) plasma concentrations of immune variables were prospectively assessed. During a mean follow-up of 34 months (>12 months in all patients), 62 patients (41%) died. Cumulative mortality was 28% at 24 months. In univariate analyses, increased total and trimeric TNF-alpha, sTNF-R1, and sTNF-R2 (all P</=0.0001), sCD14 (P=0.0007), and IL-6 (P=0.005) predicted 24-month mortality. With multivariate analysis and receiver operating characteristics, sTNF-R1 emerged among all cytokine parameters as the strongest and most accurate prognosticator in this CHF population, regardless of follow-up duration and independently of NYHA class, peak VO(2), VE/VCO(2) slope, left ventricular ejection fraction, and wasting (P<0.001). The receiver operating characteristic area under the curve for sTNF-R1 was greater than for sTNF-R2 at 6, 12, and 18 months (all P<0.05).


sTNF-R1 was the strongest and most accurate prognosticator, independent of established markers of CHF severity. Assessment of sTNF-R1 may be useful in identifying patients who are at high risk of death and in monitoring patients undergoing anti-TNF-alpha treatment.

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