Relation of circulating cardiac myosin light chain 1 isoform in stable severe congestive heart failure to survival and treatment with flosequinan
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The myocardial contractile protein myosin light chain 1 isoform (MLC-1) is released into the circulation during myocyte necrosis and could thus be a marker of low-grade myocardial damage and of poor prognosis in patients with heart failure. Two hundred eighteen patients with stable heart failure (ejection fraction [EF] <35%) and in New York Heart Association (NYHA) class III to IV had MLC-1 measured at baseline and 1 month after being randomized to the direct vasodilator flosequinan or placebo. Patients were followed a mean of 302 +/- 142 days. The prognostic value of an increase in MLC-1 above the 98th percentile of normal controls was compared with that of conventional prognostic variables in heart failure. MLC-1 was increased in over half of patients at baseline and 1 month, and this was associated with increased age, NYHA class IV, and renal insufficiency. By Kaplan-Meier survival analysis, patients with a baseline increase in MLC-1 had a greater mortality (26%) than those without an increase (15%) (p = 0.043). A significant interaction among MLC-1, survival, and treatment was found (p = 0.043). In the placebo group, MLC-1 was associated with increased mortality (29% vs 12%, p = 0.025), whereas there was no significant difference among patients receiving flosequinan. In a multivariate logistic regression model including age, treatment, and left ventricular (LV) ejection fraction, the MLC-1 chain was most predictive of mortality (p = 0.049). Thus, circulating MLC-1 is elevated in over half of patients with stable severe heart failure, and this increase is associated with a poor prognosis. Flosequinan treatment eliminates this association, highlighting the complexity of the relation between cardiac myocyte damage, drug treatment, and mortality.
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