Inflammatory biomarkers in heart failure.
Multiple lines of evidence support the "cytokine hypothesis," which suggests that inflammation plays an important role in the development and progression of heart failure. Circulating markers of inflammation, such as tumor necrosis factor alpha, interleukin 6, and C-reactive protein, may be useful in establishing the diagnosis, gauging prognosis, and evaluating the response to therapy in patients with heart failure. In addition to their potential as heart failure biomarkers, inflammatory cytokines have been investigated as targets of heart failure therapy. Although results for therapies directed against specific cytokines (such as tumor necrosis factor alpha) have thus far been disappointing, multiple studies continue to address the therapeutic potential of modulating the immune response in heart failure. In this review, the authors analyze available data supporting the use of inflammatory markers both as biomarkers and as potential therapeutic targets.
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