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The diagnostic value of plasma N-terminal connective tissue growth factor levels in children with heart failure

  • Gang Li (a1), Xueqing Song (a2), Jiyi Xia (a3), Jing Li (a4), Peng Jia (a1), Pengyuan Chen (a5), Jian Zhao (a1) and Bin Liu (a1)...



The aim of this study was to assess the diagnostic value of plasma N-terminal connective tissue growth factor in children with heart failure.

Methods and results

Plasma N-terminal connective tissue growth factor was determined in 61 children, including 41 children with heart failure, 20 children without heart failure, and 30 healthy volunteers. The correlations between plasma N-terminal connective tissue growth factor levels and clinical parameters were investigated. Moreover, the diagnostic value of N-terminal connective tissue growth factor levels was evaluated. Compared with healthy volunteers and children without heart failure, plasma N-terminal connective tissue growth factor levels were significantly elevated in those with heart failure (p<0.01). N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide and left ventricular end-diastolic dimension were positively correlated with plasma N-terminal connective tissue growth factor levels (r=0.364, p=0.006; r=0.308, p=0.016), whereas there was a negative correlation between left ventricular ejection fraction and plasma N-terminal connective tissue growth factor (r=−0.353, p=0.005). Connective tissue growth factor was significantly correlated with the severity of heart failure (p<0.001). Moreover, addition of connective tissue growth factor to N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide did not significantly increase area under curve for diagnosing heart failure (area under curve difference 0.031, p>0.05), but it obviously improved the ability of diagnosing heart failure in children, as demonstrated by the integrated discrimination improvement (6.2%, p=0.013) and net re-classification improvement (13.2%, p=0.017) indices.


Plasma N-terminal connective tissue growth factor is a promising diagnostic biomarker for heart failure in children.


Corresponding author

Correspondence to: B. Liu, Department of Pediatrics, The Affiliated Hospital of Sichuan Medical University, No. 25, Taiping Street, Luzhou, 646000, Sichuan, China. Tel: +86 830 3165613; Fax: +86 830 3163899; E-mail:


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