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J Card Fail. 2000 Jun;6(2):108-14.

Unsaturated aldehydes including 4-OH-nonenal are elevated in patients with congestive heart failure.

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Toronto Hospital, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.



Lipid peroxidation generates several unsaturated aldehydes, such as 4-OH-nonenal (HNE), which may interact with and modify the function of other molecules that are of biological importance. Although congestive heart failure (CHF) is a state of generalized oxidative stress, the resultant spectrum of saturated and unsaturated aldehydes has not been systematically characterized in this condition.


We studied 8 CHF patients and 8 age-matched patients with normal left ventricular (LV) function. The concentrations of 22 aldehydes produced by lipid peroxidation, including saturated (n-alkanals) and unsaturated (t-2-alkenals, t-2,t-4-alkadienals, 4-OH-alkenals) aldehydes, were measured in arterial plasma by gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC/MS). LV contractility (+dP/dt) and relaxation (Tau) were directly measured with a micromanometer-tipped catheter.


Compared with patients who have normal LV function, CHF patients had higher levels of total aldehydes (9,311 +/- 835 v 6,594 +/- 344 nmol/L, P < .01), as well as multiple unsaturated aldehydes (t-2-alkenals and 4-OH-alkenals, including HNE). In the CHF group, a strong relationship was observed between total aldehyde concentration and both +dP/dt (correlation coefficient = -0.76, P < .05) and Tau (correlation coefficient = 0.78, P < .05).


Unsaturated aldehyde levels were consistently elevated in the plasma of CHF patients compared with patients who have normal LV function. In CHF patients, elevated aldehyde levels were associated with impairment of LV contractility.

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