Targeted proteomics improves cardiovascular risk prediction in secondary prevention

Nick S. Nurmohamed, João P. Belo Pereira, Renate M. Hoogeveen, Jeffrey Kroon, Jordan M. Kraaijenhof, Farahnaz Waissi, Nathalie Timmerman, Michiel J. Bom, Imo E. Hoefer, Paul Knaapen, Alberico L. Catapano, Wolfgang Koenig, Dominique de Kleijn, Frank L. J. Visseren, Evgeni Levin, Erik S. G. Stroes

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17 Citations (Scopus)


Aims Current risk scores do not accurately identify patients at highest risk of recurrent atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) in need of more intensive therapeutic interventions. Advances in high-throughput plasma proteomics, analysed with machine learning techniques, may offer new opportunities to further improve risk stratification in these patients Methods Targeted plasma proteomics was performed in two secondary prevention cohorts: the Second Manifestations of and results ARTerial disease (SMART) cohort (n = 870) and the Athero-Express cohort (n = 700). The primary outcome was recurrent ASCVD (acute myocardial infarction, ischaemic stroke, and cardiovascular death). Machine learning techniques with extreme gradient boosting were used to construct a protein model in the derivation cohort (SMART), which was validated in the Athero-Express cohort and compared with a clinical risk model. Pathway analysis was performed to identify specific pathways in high and low C-reactive protein (CRP) patient subsets. The protein model outperformed the clinical model in both the derivation cohort [area under the curve (AUC): 0.810 vs. 0.750; P, 0.001] and validation cohort (AUC: 0.801 vs. 0.765; P, 0.001), provided significant net reclassification improvement (0.173 in validation cohort) and was well calibrated. In contrast to a clear interleukin-6 signal in high CRP patients, neutrophil-signalling-related proteins were associated with recurrent ASCVD in low CRP patients Conclusion A proteome-based risk model is superior to a clinical risk model in predicting recurrent ASCVD events. Neutrophilrelated pathways were found in low CRP patients, implying the presence of a residual inflammatory risk beyond traditional NLRP3 pathways. The observed net reclassification improvement illustrates the potential of proteomics when incorporated in a tailored therapeutic approach in secondary prevention patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1569-1577
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Heart journal
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 21 Apr 2022


  • C-reactive protein
  • Machine learning
  • NLRP3
  • Proteomics
  • Risk score

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