Micro-RNAs (miRNAs) play a pivotal role in the development and physiology of the cardiovascular system while they have been associated with multiple cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). Several cardiac miRNAs are detectable in circulation (circulating miRNAs; c-miRNAs) and are emerging as diagnostic and therapeutic biomarkers for CVDs. c-miRNAs exhibit numerous essential characteristics of biomarkers while they are extremely stable in circulation, their expression is tissue-/disease-specific, and they can be easily detected using sequence-specific amplification methods. These features of c-miRNAs are helpful in the development of non-invasive assays to monitor the progress of CVDs. Despite significant progress in the detection of c-miRNAs in serum and plasma, there are many contradictory publications on the alterations of cardiac c-miRNAs concentration in circulation. The aim of this review is to examine the pre-analytical and analytical factors affecting the quantification of c-miRNAs and provide general guidelines to increase the accuracy of the diagnostic tests in order to improve future research on cardiac c-miRNAs.
- Cardiovascular disease
- Circulating micro-RNAs