J Lipid Atheroscler.  2018 Jun;7(1):42-49. 10.12997/jla.2018.7.1.42.

Relationship between Circulating FGF21 Concentrations and the Severity of Coronary Artery Damage in Subjects with Cardiovascular Disease

  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, Kyungpook National University, Daegu, Korea. kpark@knu.ac.kr, ljhmh75@knu.ac.kr
  • 2Department of Internal Medicine, Daegu Catholic University Medical Center, Daegu, Korea.
  • 3Biostatistics Center, School of Medicine, Kyungpook National University, Daegu, Korea.


Fibroblast growth factor (FGF) 21 is a recently established therapeutic target for treating metabolic syndromes, which include potential precursors to cardiovascular disease, suggesting a link between FGF21 and atherosclerosis. However, the association between serum FGF21 concentrations and coronary artery disease remain controversial. The aim of this study is to evaluate the association between circulating FGF21 concentrations and coronary artery lesions and clinical severity.
We enrolled 137 subjects who underwent coronary angiography, due to suspected acute coronary syndrome (ACS), from December 2009 to July 2012. Serum FGF21 levels were measured. Coronary artery lesions and clinical severities of the subjects were evaluated using the SYNergy between percutaneous coronary intervention with (paclitaxel-eluting) TAXus stent and cardiac surgery (SYNTAX) and Global Registry of Acute Coronary Events (GRACE) scoring system, respectively.
After adjusting for established cardiovascular disease risk factors, including age, body mass index, total cholesterol, and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, patients with coronary artery lesions (n=112 men) had significantly higher levels of FGF21 than individuals without such lesions (n=25; men) (377.1±20.1 pg/mL vs. 267.1±43.5 pg/mL; p=0.026). However, no correlations were found between serum levels of FGF21 and either the calculated STNTAX score (r=0.117; p=0.176) or GRACE risk score, which is a risk prediction tool applicable for ACS subjects (r=0.113; p=0.193).
Although serum levels of FGF21 were higher in individuals with coronary lesions than in those without such lesions, FGF21 levels were not associated with angiographic severity.


Fibroblast growth factor 21; Cardiovascular diseases; SYNTAX score; GRACE score
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