Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Medicine and BioMed Central.

Journal App

google play app store
Open Access Highly Accessed Review

Biomarkers in acute myocardial infarction

Daniel Chan1 and Leong L Ng2*

Author Affiliations

1 Pharmacology and Therapeutics Group, Department of Cardiovascular Sciences, University of Leicester, Clinical Sciences Building, Leicester Royal Infirmary LE2 7LX, UK

2 Leicester National Institute for Health Research Cardiovascular Biomedical Research Unit, UK

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Medicine 2010, 8:34  doi:10.1186/1741-7015-8-34

Published: 7 June 2010

Abstract

Myocardial infarction causes significant mortality and morbidity. Timely diagnosis allows clinicians to risk stratify their patients and select appropriate treatment. Biomarkers have been used to assist with timely diagnosis, while an increasing number of novel markers have been identified to predict outcome following an acute myocardial infarction or acute coronary syndrome. This may facilitate tailoring of appropriate therapy to high-risk patients. This review focuses on a variety of promising biomarkers which provide diagnostic and prognostic information.

Heart-type Fatty Acid Binding Protein and copeptin in combination with cardiac troponin help diagnose myocardial infarction or acute coronary syndrome in the early hours following symptoms. An elevated N-Terminal Pro-B-type Natriuretic Peptide has been well validated to predict death and heart failure following a myocardial infarction. Similarly other biomarkers such as Mid-regional pro-Atrial Natriuretic Peptide, ST2, C-Terminal pro-endothelin 1, Mid-regional pro-Adrenomedullin and copeptin all provide incremental information in predicting death and heart failure. Growth differentiation factor-15 and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein predict death following an acute coronary syndrome. Pregnancy associated plasma protein A levels following chest pain predicts risk of myocardial infarction and revascularisation. Some biomarkers such as myeloperoxidase and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein in an apparently healthy population predicts risk of coronary disease and allows clinicians to initiate early preventative treatment. In addition to biomarkers, various well-validated scoring systems based on clinical characteristics are available to help clinicians predict mortality risk, such as the Thrombolysis In Myocardial Infarction score and Global Registry of Acute Coronary Events score. A multimarker approach incorporating biomarkers and clinical scores will increase the prognostic accuracy. However, it is important to note that only troponin has been used to direct therapeutic intervention and none of the new prognostic biomarkers have been tested and proven to alter outcome of therapeutic intervention.

Novel biomarkers have improved prediction of outcome in acute myocardial infarction, but none have been demonstrated to alter the outcome of a particular therapy or management strategy. Randomised trials are urgently needed to address this translational gap before the use of novel biomarkers becomes common practice to facilitate tailored treatment following an acute coronary event.