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Parallel evolution of circulating FABP4 and NT-proBNP in heart failure patients

Anna Cabré12, Pilar Valdovinos23, Iolanda Lázaro12, Gil Bonet23, Alfredo Bardají23 and Lluís Masana12*

Author Affiliations

1 Unitat de Recerca en Lípids i Arteriosclerosi, Hospital Universitari Sant Joan, CIBERDEM, Reus, Spain

2 IISPV, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Tarragona, Spain

3 Servei de Cardiologia, Hospital Universitari de Tarragona Joan XXIII, Tarragona, Spain

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Cardiovascular Diabetology 2013, 12:72  doi:10.1186/1475-2840-12-72

Published: 4 May 2013



Circulating adipocyte fatty acid-binding protein (FABP4) levels are considered to be a link between obesity, insulin resistance, diabetes, and cardiovascular (CV) diseases. In vitro, FABP4 has exhibited cardiodepressant activity by suppressing cardiomyocyte contraction. We have explored the relationship between FABP4 and the N-terminal fragment of pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) as a clinical parameter of heart failure (HF).


We included 179 stable HF patients who were referred to a specialized HF unit, 108 of whom were prospectively followed for up to 6 months. A group of 163 non-HF patients attending a CV risk unit was used as the non-HF control group for the FABP4 comparisons.


In the HF patients, FABP4 and NT-proBNP were assayed, along with a clinical and functional assessment of the heart at baseline and after 6 months of specialized monitoring. The FABP4 levels were higher in the patients with HF than in the non-HF high CV risk control group (p<0.001). The FABP4 levels were associated with the NT-proBNP levels in patients with HF (r=0.601, p<0.001), and this association was stronger in the diabetic patients. FABP4 was also associated with heart rate and the results of the 6-minute walk test. After the follow-up period, FABP4 decreased in parallel to NT-proBNP and to the clinical parameters of HF.


FABP4 is associated with the clinical manifestations and biomarkers of HF. It exhibits a parallel evolution with the circulating levels of NT-proBNP in HF patients.

FABP4; Heart failure; NT-proBNP; Obesity; Diabetes