The presence of Cardiomyopathy (CM) in Friedreich's ataxia (FRDA) is variable and the risk factors for cardiac involvement are not entirely clear. Markers of collagen degradation, such as C-terminal cross-linked telopeptide of type I collagen (CTX-I), seem to be associated with unfavorable cardiovascular outcomes. The aim of this study was to measure serum CTX-I as a marker of cardiac fibrosis in FRDA patients. The authors measured serum CTX value in twenty-five FRDA patients (mean age, 31.3 ± 14.7 years) and nineteen healthy controls (mean age, 34.0 ± 13.5 years). Patients underwent echocardiography and SARA scale evaluation. CTX values were significantly higher in the patients than in the control group (31.82 ± 2.27 vs 16.44 ± 1.6 μg/L; p = 0.006). CTX-I was inversely correlated with age (R = - 0,535; n = 44; p < 0.001). The regression model identified disease duration and TT3 levels to be independent predictors of CTX-I (model R2 = 0.938; intercept - 64.0, p = 0.071; disease duration coefficient = - 2.34, p = 0.005; TT3 coefficient = 127.17, p = 0.011). CTX-I, a biomarkers of collagen turnover, is elevated in FRDA and should provide complementary information to identify patients with high cardiological risk even if longitudinal studies are needed to define the role of this serologic marker of collagen metabolism in the natural history of cardiomyopathy in FRDA patients.

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