Aim Heart failure (HF) affects millions of older individuals in both developed and low/middle-income countries. Serum galectin-3 levels have been shown to have prognostic value. However, its use as a diagnostic biomarker has not been explored. The aim was to establish a saliva galectin-3 reference range and to demonstrate the potential diagnostic utility of salivary and serum galectin-3 levels in assessing HF.
Methods Blood and saliva samples were collected from age-matched healthy controls (n=51) and patients with HF (n=63). Customised immunoassays were developed to quantify salivary galectin-3 levels. The diagnostic performances of these assays were evaluated by receiver operator characteristic (ROC) curves analysis.
Results The galectin-3 concentrations were significantly elevated in saliva and serum samples of patients with HF compared with controls (p<0.001 and p<0.0001, respectively). Using ROC curve analysis, both serum and salivary galectin-3 gave area under the curve (AUC)=0.86 and AUC=0.73, respectively. There was also a significant correlation (r=0.4, p<0.01) between serum and salivary galectin-3 levels.
Conclusions For the first time, we have quantified galectin-3 levels in human saliva and have demonstrated potential clinical utility in diagnosing HF. Further, larger multicentre clinical trials are needed before salivary galectin-3 levels can be implemented in a clinical setting.
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Handling editor Tahir Pillay
Contributors All authors listed have contributed sufficiently to the manuscript to be included as authors and have seen and approved the final version of the manuscript. XZ: study design, participant recruitment and sample collection, data acquisition, analysis of data and manuscript preparation. YW: study design, data acquisition and manuscript preparation. RC: data acquisition and analysis of data. AB: participant recruitment and sample collection and manuscript preparation. JJA: study design, participant recruitment and sample collection and manuscript preparation. KK: study design, participant recruitment and sample collection and manuscript preparation. CP: study design and manuscript preparation. There is no person who has a right to be recognised as author has been omitted from the list of authors.
Funding This study was supported by the Queensland University of Technology VC's start-up funds for Chamindie Punyadeera.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent Obtained.
Ethics approval Queensland University of Technology Medical Ethical Institutional Board, Mater Medical Ethical Review Board.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.