BACKGROUND - Left ventricular remodeling is characterized by increased collagen deposition in the extracellular matrix. Levels of plasma procollagen type III amino-terminal peptide (PIIINP), a marker of collagen turnover, are elevated in the setting of recent myocardial infarction, heart failure, and cardiomyopathy. Whether plasma PIIINP levels are a useful indicator of subclinical left ventricular abnormalities in ambulatory individuals has not been studied.
METHODS - We examined 967 Framingham Heart Study participants (mean age, 56 years; 60% women) who underwent routine echocardiography and measurement of plasma PIIINP levels. All participants were free of prior myocardial infarction or heart failure. Multivariable regression analyses were performed to examine the clinical and echocardiographic correlates of PIIINP levels.
RESULTS - Plasma PIIINP levels increased with age and body mass index but did not significantly correlate with other cardiovascular risk factors including hypertension and diabetes. In multivariable models, there was no association between plasma PIIINP levels and left ventricular mass (P = .89), left ventricular fractional shortening (P = .15), left ventricular end-diastolic dimension (P = .51), or left atrial size (P = .68). Plasma PIIINP levels were positively correlated with tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-1 levels (multivariable-adjusted, P = .001).
CONCLUSIONS - The use of biomarkers of extracellular matrix turnover has generated recent interest, with plasma PIIINP being the most commonly studied biomarker in acute settings. However, our findings in a large, community-based cohort suggest that plasma PIIINP has limited use for the detection of structural heart disease in ambulatory individuals.