Background: \ud \ud Circulating microRNAs (miRNAs) emerge as potential heart failure biomarkers. We aimed to identify associations between acute heart failure (AHF)-specific circulating miRNAs and well-known heart failure biomarkers.\ud \ud Methods: \ud \ud Associations between 16 biomarkers predictive for 180 day mortality and the levels of 12 AHF-specific miRNAs were determined in 100 hospitalized AHF patients, at baseline and 48 hours. Patients were divided in 4 pre-defined groups, based on clinical parameters during hospitalization. Correlation analyses between miRNAs and biomarkers were performed and complemented by miRNA target prediction and pathway analysis.\ud \ud Results: \ud \ud No significant correlations were found at hospital admission. However, after 48 hours, 7 miRNAs were significantly negatively correlated to biomarkers indicative for a worse clinical outcome in the patient group with the most unfavorable in-hospital course (n = 21); miR-16-5p was correlated to C-reactive protein (R = − 0.66, p-value = 0.0027), miR-106a-5p to creatinine (R = − 0.68, p-value = 0.002), miR-223-3p to growth differentiation factor 15 (R = − 0.69, p-value = 0.0015), miR-652-3p to soluble ST-2 (R = − 0.77, p-value < 0.001), miR-199a-3p to procalcitonin (R = − 0.72, p-value < 0.001) and galectin-3 (R = − 0.73, p-value < 0.001) and miR-18a-5p to procalcitonin (R = − 0.68, p-value = 0.002). MiRNA target prediction and pathway analysis identified several pathways related to cardiac diseases, which could be linked to some of the miRNA-biomarker correlations.\ud \ud Conclusions: \ud \ud The majority of correlations between circulating AHF-specific miRNAs were related to biomarkers predictive for a worse clinical outcome in a subgroup of worsening heart failure patients at 48 hours of hospitalization. The selective findings suggest a time-dependent effect of circulating miRNAs and highlight the susceptibility to individual patient characteristics influencing potential relations between miRNAs and biomarkers
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