Challenges in using circulating micro-rnas as biomarkers for cardiovascular diseases

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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.

Original languageEnglish
Article number561
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2020


  • Biomarkers
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Circulating micro-RNAs
  • Prognosis


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