Association of Circulating Ketone Bodies With Functional Outcomes After ST-Segment Elevation Myocardial Infarction

Marie Sophie L.Y. de Koning*, B. Daan Westenbrink, Solmaz Assa, Erwin Garcia, Margery A. Connelly, Dirk J. van Veldhuisen, Robin P.F. Dullaart, Erik Lipsic, Pim van der Harst

*Corresponding author for this work

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Background: Circulating ketone bodies (KBs) are increased in patients with heart failure (HF), corresponding with increased cardiac KB metabolism and HF severity. However, the role of circulating KBs in ischemia/reperfusion remains unknown. Objectives: This study sought to investigate longitudinal changes of KBs and their associations with functional outcomes in patients presenting with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). Methods: KBs were measured in 369 participants from a randomized trial on early metformin therapy after STEMI. Nonfasting plasma concentrations of KBs (β-hydroxybutyrate, acetoacetate, and acetone) were measured by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy at presentation, at 24 hours, and after 4 months. Myocardial infarct size and left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) were determined by cardiac magnetic resonance imaging at 4 months. Associations of circulating KBs with infarct size and LVEF were determined using multivariable linear regression analyses. Results: Circulating KBs were high at presentation with STEMI (median total KBs: 520 μmol/L; interquartile range [IQR]: 315-997 μmol/L). At 24 hours after reperfusion, KBs were still high compared with levels at 4-month follow-up (206 μmol/L [IQR: 174-246] vs 166 μmol/L [IQR: 143-201], respectively; P < 0.001). Increased KB concentrations at 24 hours were independently associated with larger myocardial infarct size (total KBs, per 100 μmol/L: β = 1.56; 95% confidence interval: 0.29-2.83; P = 0.016) and lower LVEF (β = −1.78; 95% CI: (−3.17 to −0.39; P = 0.012). Conclusions: Circulating KBs are increased in patients presenting with STEMI. Higher KBs at 24 hours are associated with functional outcomes after STEMI, which suggests a potential role for ketone metabolism in response to myocardial ischemia. (Metabolic Modulation With Metformin to Reduce Heart Failure After Acute Myocardial Infarction: Glycometabolic Intervention as Adjunct to Primary Coronary Intervention in ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction (GIPS-III): a Randomized Controlled Trial; NCT01217307)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1421-1432
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the American College of Cardiology
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 5-Oct-2021


  • ischemia/reperfusion
  • ketone bodies
  • metabolism
  • metformin
  • myocardial infarction

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