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Procollagen type III amino-terminal propeptide is a collagen III cleavage product released in blood. The serum levels of this propeptide in adults with dilated cardiomyopathy are associated with cardiac remodelling and prognosis. The utility of procollagen type III amino-terminal propeptide as a biomarker in paediatric dilated cardiomyopathy is unknown.
This was a prospective, longitudinal study of children with dilated cardiomyopathy and changes in procollagen type III amino-terminal propeptide. The serum level of propeptide was measured serially, compared with paediatric normal values, and correlated with clinical status and left ventricular size and function on echocardiograms and cardiac magnetic resonance imaging.
Procollagen type III amino-terminal propeptide was measured serially in 149 samples from 39 patients, age 9.0±6.4 years, followed up for 16.8±16.3 months. Procollagen type III amino-terminal propeptide in dilated cardiomyopathy was higher than in normal children. On multivariate analyses, procollagen type III amino-terminal propeptide had a positive correlation with left ventricular dilation, left ventricular end-diastolic diameter index (p<0.0001), and left ventricular end-diastolic diameter Z-score (p=0.0003), and a negative correlation with shortening fraction changes over time (p=0.001). Patients with myocarditis (n=12) had higher procollagen type III amino-terminal propeptide values than those with idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy (n=20).
Procollagen type III amino-terminal propeptide increases with left ventricular dilation and decreases with improvement in systolic function in paediatric dilated cardiomyopathy, indicating a role as a biomarker of cardiac remodelling in children. The diagnostic utility of procollagen type III amino-terminal propeptide to differentiate myocarditis from idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy warrants further investigation.
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