Increased plasma levels of NT-proBNP, Troponin T and GDF-15 are driven by persistent AF and associated comorbidities: Data from the AF-RISK study

L M G Meems, V Artola Arita, M Velt, E A M P Dudink, H J G M Crijns, I C Van Gelder, M Rienstra*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a progressive disease, and early recognition and management may reflect an important strategy to reduce its disease burden. In this study, we evaluated plasma levels of three biomarkers - N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NTproBNP), Troponin-T, and growth differentiation factor-15 (GDF-15) - in patients with paroxysmal AF (pAF) (≤7 days of continuous AF, n = 323) and persistent AF ((AF duration > 7 days and < 1 year, n = 84) using patients from AF RISK study (NCT01510210). In this AF-RISK sub-study, patients with persistent AF experienced more symptoms (higher European Heart Rhythm Association class (p < 0.001)), had a higher comorbidity burden (p < 0.001), and had more unfavorable echocardiographic parameters (p < 0.001). All three biomarker levels were significantly higher in patients with persistent AF as compared to those with pAF (p < 0.001). Multivariate linear regression analyses showed that age (beta-coefficient for NTproBNP: 0.21; GDF-15: 0.41; Troponin-T: 0.23) and CHA2DS2-VASc (beta-coefficient for NTproBNP: 0.20; GDF-15: 0.25; Troponin-T: 0.27) were determinants of all three biomarkers, and that persistent AF determined NTproBNP (beta-coefficient: 0.34), but not Troponin-T and GDF-15. More detailed analysis of CHA2DS2-VASc score showed that for all three biomarkers age, coronary artery disease and heart failure were determinants of plasma biomarkers levels, whereas sex determined NTproBNP and Troponin T, and hypertension determined NTproBNP and GDF15. Overall, this study therefore suggests that in AF, Troponin T and GDF15, and especially NTproBNP could be used to detect those patients with more persistent form of AF that may warrant more aggressive treatment of AF and concomitant comorbidities. Future studies, however, are essential to evaluate if more aggressive AF treatment and risk factor management will reduce disease progression and holds a novel therapeutic intervention to reduce the burden of AF.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100987
Number of pages3
JournalIJC Heart and Vasculature
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022


  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Biomarkers
  • Growth-differentiation factor 15
  • NTproBNP
  • Troponin T


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