Increased Serum Level of Growth Differentiation Factor 15 (GDF-15) is Associated with Coronary Artery Disease

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There is evidence suggesting that inflammatory responses play a critical role in the development of coronary artery disease (CAD). Growth differentiation factor 15 (GDF-15) is a stress-responsive cytokine. It increases during inflammatory processes and is associated with cardiometabolic risk. However, the relation between GDF-15 and CAD remains largely unknown. Herein, we aimed to evaluate serum GDF-15 levels and predictive values in patients with CAD.


Serum levels of GDF-15 in 105 patients with CAD and 96 healthy controls were measured by the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Gensini scores were used to assess severity of CAD. The correlations between the serum GDF-15 levels and Gensini scores were examined using Spearman's correlation. Receivers operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis was performed to determine the predictive values of GDF-15 levels.


We found that serum GDF-15 levels were significantly increased in CAD group compared with healthy controls group (P < 0.001). Additionally, a positive correlation was observed between GDF-15 and the Gensini score (r = 0.85, P < 0.001). Moreover, the area under the ROC curve assay yielded a satisfactory result of 0.96 (95% confidence interval 0.94–0.98; P < 0.001), and the serum GDF-15 level had a 80.0% sensitivity and 91.7% specificity for predicting CAD.


These data suggested that increased GDF-15 levels were positively associated with CAD, and GDF-15 might be a useful adjunct in discriminating CAD.

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