BACKGROUND: Ventricular Assist Device (VAD) as bridge to transplantation is a common therapy for adult with heart failure (HF), but VAD use is increasing also in children. Cardiac and inflammatory biomarkers have an important role in the diagnosis and prognosis of HF in adults, but their role in paediatric setting is unknown. The aim of this study was to examine changes in cardiac and inflammatory biomarkers, both in HF paediatric and adult patients, before and following VAD.
METHODS: Cardiac (NT-proBNP, cTnI, sST2,Gal-3) and inflammatory (IL-6,IL-8) biomarkers were determined in plasma collected from 12 paediatric patients and 7 adult patients with HF, before and at 4 h,1,3,7,14 and 30 days after VAD implant.
RESULTS: All biomarkers increased up to 1 day after VAD implant and then decreased at pre-VAD levels in 1 month in both groups. Only in children, NT-proBNP decreased significantly after 30 days Post-VAD treatment compared to pre-VAD levels. During the post-operative time-course, NT-proBNP and sST2 were significantly higher in children than adults, while IL-6 was lower.
CONCLUSIONS: Cardiac and inflammatory biomarkers were differently modified by VAD implant in children compared to adults. These preliminary data could suggest that different molecular pathways may underlie HF patho-physiology of the two groups, possibly paving the way to a specific and targeted therapeutic intervention in the near future.