Growth Differentiation Factor 15 in Heart Failure: An Update
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Growth differentiation factor 15 (GDF-15) is a stress-responsive cytokine expressed in the cardiovascular system. GDF-15 is emerging as a biomarker of cardiometabolic risk and disease burden. GDF-15 integrates information from cardiac and extracardiac disease pathways that are linked to the incidence, progression, and prognosis of heart failure (HF). Increased circulating levels of GDF-15 are associated with an increased risk of developing HF in apparently healthy individuals from the community. After an acute coronary syndrome, elevated levels of GDF-15 are indicative of an increased risk of developing adverse left ventricular remodeling and HF. In patients with established HF, the levels of GDF-15 and increases in GDF-15 over time are associated with adverse outcomes. The information provided by GDF-15 is independent of established risk factors and cardiac biomarkers, including BNP. More studies are needed to elucidate how the information provided by GDF-15 can be used for patient monitoring and formulating treatment decisions. Further understanding of the pathobiology of GDF-15 may lead to the discovery of new treatment targets in HF.