OBJECTIVES: To evaluate platelet activating factor (PAF) levels, its metabolic enzymes activity and its associations with other inflammatory markers in heart failure (HF) patients. DESIGN AND METHODS: PAF, and two of its key biosynthetic enzymes [lyso-PAF acetyltransferase (lyso-PAF-AT) and DTT-insensitive CDP-choline:1-alkyl-2-acetyl-sn-glycerol cholinephosphotransferase (PAF-CPT)] along with its catabolic enzymes [PAF-acetylhydrolase (PAF-AH) and lipoprotein-associated phospholipase-A(2) (Lp-PLA(2))] were measured in serum and leukocytes of twelve newly diagnosed male HF patients. Serum CRP, TNF-alpha, IL-6, sCD14 and CD40L were also determined. RESULTS: PAF ranged from 0.03 to 5.6 pmol/mL. Median lyso-PAF-AT, PAF-CPT, PAF-AH and Lp-PLA(2) activities were 4.1, 68.42, 644.44 pmol/min/mg protein and 51.42 pmol/min/microL correspondingly. Lyso-PAF-AT and PAF-CPT activities positively correlated with CRP, IL-6 and with each other, whereas PAF-CPT activity correlated with sCD14 and CD40L (P<0.05). CONCLUSIONS: PAF's biosynthetic enzyme activities correlated with inflammatory and immunologic molecules, which are activated in HF. Our study indicates a potential role of PAF in HF patients.