ST2 biomarker - for patients with heart failure
Heart failure is often called the epidemic of our times. This disease is known to have acute episodes, and patients often have to have repeated hospital stays.
Hospitalised patients often complain of experiencing shortness of breath, which is a very non-specific symptom, common to many diseases. Besides acute heart failure, it may occur when the patient has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease flare-ups, pneumonia, pulmonary embolism and other conditions. Finding out the true cause of the shortness of breath takes time, and the patient is forced to stay in the hospital, meanwhile the disease develops, and sometimes the patient may even die of complications. So, diagnosing heart failure, selecting the most suitable treatment and making predictions about the disease is a difficult task.
Today, biological marker blood tests are being used more and more frequently in heart failure diagnostics and treatment. One of the biomarkers tested is ST2.
Cardiovascular test price
What factors affect the price?
The prices indicated below apply to citizens of the Republic of Lithuania and the European Union.
If you are coming from another country please check the price by telephoning or sending an email.
When are the examinations are carried out:
2 hours for the most common (routine) blood tests and urinalysis.
The reports of computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance tomography (MRT) imaging and other
instrumental examinations are usually ready immediately, i.e within 2-3 hours after the examination.
Good to know
Who should have ST2 biomarker tests?
ST2 biomarker tests help to:
- confirm or rule out heart failure diagnosis for patients who complain of experiencing shortness of breath;
- select the most fitting treatment and effective medication doses if heart failure has worsened;
- determine when is the best time to release the patient from hospital;
- evaluate how big is the risk of re-hospitalisation and prevent it in time.
Do I have to register?
You do not have to schedule an appointment in advance, you can simply check in at reception and request to be tested.
How will I get my test results?
- The report with the test results will be prepared in 2 hours.
It can be picked up at the reception or we can send it via email at your request.
- Unsure how to interpret the results? Call the lab, phone: (8 5) 247 64 17.
FAQ (frequently asked questions)
Biomarker ST2 (Suppression of Tumorigenicity 2) belongs to the interleukin-1 family. It is a receptor family which plays a major role in regulating the immune response.
ST2 is a causal factor of chronic cardiovascular diseases such as atherosclerosis and heart failure. ST2 is considered an unfavourable biomarker in the pathogenesis of chronic inflammatory cardiovascular diseases. Inflammation and endothelial dysfunction are related to the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis and cause metabolism disorders, for example, diabetes, atherosclerosis, metabolic syndrome, or cerebrovascular disease. The marker gives additional information about the risk of developing heart failure, about the disease progressing and myocardial remodelling.
Many clinical studies show that in patients who have heart failure or other cardiovascular diseases, ST2 blood level can:
- give information about the health condition of the patient;
- help evaluate the re-hospitalisation risk;
- help evaluate the death risk;
- help evaluate the effectiveness of the treatment;
- help select the patients who may potentially develop heart failure from the general (asymptomatic) population.
ST2 concentration is not affected by the age, sex, or BMI of the patient, it does not depend on the aetiology of heart failure or whether the patient has atrial fibrillation or anaemia, neither does it correlate with kidney function.
ST2 level quickly responds to changes in the health condition of the patient, making it easier for doctors to make a decision in instances where the treatment must be started or altered immediately, or the person has to be hospitalised in time.
ST2 blood concentration can predict the health condition of heart failure patients the best, select the patients at the highest risk early, and expose the necessity of re-hospitalisation and the death risk.
A marker of myocardial fibrosis, ST2 has been enlisted in heart failure treatment guidelines of the American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association as an independent predictor of additional risk since 2013. In March 2014, an international panel of experts from the US, Europe and Asia summarised the benefits of ST2 testing. The consensus was published in The American Journal of Cardiology (April 2015).
The practice has now come to Lithuania, too. Our Centre offers the possibility to measure ST2 concentration in plasma with the ELISA method. It is a rapid quantitative test—test results are available on the same day in 2 hours.
If the patient has acute heart failure, the test is performed:
- when hospitalising the patient;
- before discharging the patient;
- during every appointment with the cardiologist.
For patients with chronic heart failure, the frequency of ST2 testing should be decided on the basis of the patient’s health condition and risk group: it could be performed once a year, 3-4 times a month or during every appointment with the cardiologist.
Assessment of this marker is useful for selecting patients who are at high risk of developing heart failure and for primary disease prevention.
ST2, a marker of myocardial fibrosis, not only warns patients with heart failure about potential re-hospitalisation or death, but also augments the information provided by plasma natriuretic peptides. When we use a summary of different cardiac marker test results, we gain independent complementary data, which allows to improve the quality of patient treatment.
ST2 gives additional information about the patient’s health condition, which helps decrease the re-hospitalisation and death risk for patients with acute or chronic heart failure and, at the same time, helps reduce the economic burden for the hospital and the country. Heart failure is the main reason for hospitalisation of patients over 65 years old.
Among the released patients, 25% are re-hospitalised after 30 days, after 60 days that number grows to 44% and after 6 months 50% of the patients will have had to be re-hospitalised. If ST2 test is done before discharging the patient and the ST2 value is found to overpass the threshold, it is possible to reduce the need for re-hospitalisation by 17.3% and the rate of mortality in the 30-day period by 17.6%.