Several studies on disease and treatment effects on neurohormones have been conducted with small numbers of patients, using one blood sample as representative of their states. The aim of this study was to assess the within-patient variability of plasma concentrations of several hormones and cytokines of recent interest, in patients with moderate heart failure and controlled stable background therapy over 3 weeks. Blood for neurohormone and cytokine assays was sampled in duplicate from 18 patients with moderate heart failure. After an initial visit, the patients were kept on stable therapy until the second blood sampling 21 ± 3 days later. The plasma concentrations of several neurohormones (endothelin, renin, angiotensin II, aldosterone, norepinephrine) and cytokines (interleukin-6 (IL-6), interleukin-13 (IL-13), ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF), leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) and soluble receptor type I of tumour necrosis factor-α (sTNF-RI) were measured with immunochemical methods. Some cytokines (IL-13, CNTF and LIF) were not detected. Despite clinically satisfactory ACE inhibition, circulating angiotensin II and aldosterone levels were still elevated in some patients, suggesting aldosterone escape. The between-visit agreement of plasma concentrations measured in duplicate was less than 35% for all circulating factors, except renin which showed a higher variability throughout the 3-week study period.
- Congestive heart failure
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