BACKGROUND AXL is a membrane receptor tyrosine kinase highly expressed in the heart and has a conspicuous role in cardiovascular physiology. The role of AXL in heart failure (HF) has not been previously addressed. METHODS AND RESULTS AXL protein was enhanced 6-fold in myocardial biopsies of end-stage HF patients undergoing heart transplantation compared to controls from heart donors (P<0.0001). Next, we performed a transversal study of patients with chronic HF (n=192) and a group of controls with no HF (n=67). sAXL and BNP circulating levels were quantified and clinical and demographic data were collected. sAXL levels in serum were higher in HF (86.3 ± 2.0 ng/mL) than in controls (67.8 ± 2.0 ng/mL; P<0.0001). Also, sAXL correlated with several parameters associated with worse prognosis in HF. Linear regression analysis indicated that serum creatinine, systolic blood pressure and atrial fibrillation, but not BNP levels, were predictive of sAXL levels. Cox regression analysis indicated that high sAXL values at enrollment time were related to the major HF events (all-cause mortality, heart transplantation and HF hospitalizations) at one year follow-up (P<0.001), adding predictive value to high BNP levels. CONCLUSIONS Myocardial expression and serum concentration of AXL is elevated in HF patients compared to controls. Furthermore, peripheral sAXL correlates with parameters associated with the progression of HF and with HF events at short term follow-up. All together these results suggest that sAXL could belong to a new molecular pathway involved in myocardial damage in HF, independent from BNP.