Kidney Res Clin Pract.  2021 Mar;40(1):109-119. 10.23876/j.krcp.20.133.

Elevated levels of soluble ST2 but not galectin-3 are associated with increased risk of mortality in hemodialysis patients

  • 1Division of Nephrology, Department of Internal Medicine, Gachon University Gil Medical Center, Incheon, Republic of Korea
  • 2Department of Internal Medicine, Gachon University College of Medicine, Incheon, Republic of Korea
  • 3Department of Health Sciences and Technology, Gachon University, Incheon, Republic of Korea
  • 4Department of Preventive Medicine, Gachon University College of Medicine, Incheon, Republic of Korea


The soluble forms of suppression of tumorigenicity-2 (ST2) and galectin-3 have been proposed as novel biomarkers for cardiac fibrosis and heart failure, as well as predictors of cardiovascular events and mortality. However, there are limited data on the association between soluble ST2 and galectin-3 and clinical outcomes in patients with kidney failure on replacement therapy. To determine this, we examined the associations between soluble ST2 and galectin-3 and all-cause mortality and cardiovascular events in patients on hemodialysis.
This study included maintenance hemodialysis patients (over 18 years old) who consented to preserve their serum in the Biobank at our institution between March 2014 and March 2015. We used Cox proportional hazards regression analysis to evaluate the associations between soluble ST2, galectin-3 levels, and clinical outcomes. The primary outcome was all-cause mortality, the secondary outcome was cardiovascular disease, and patients were followed for both outcomes until March 2018.
A total of 296 patients were analyzed in this study. The mean age was 57 ± 13 years, and 53.0% were male. Serum concentration of soluble ST2 was significantly associated with higher mortality, after adjustment for confounding factors, but was not associated with cardiovascular disease. Serum galectin-3 level was not independently associated with either outcome after adjustment.
Elevated soluble ST2 is independently associated with an increased risk of mortality, but not with cardiovascular disease, in patients on hemodialysis. Elevated galectin-3 was not associated with mortality or cardiovascular disease.


Cardiovascular diseases; Galectin 3; Hemodialysis; Mortality; Soluble ST2
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