Cardiac Biomarkers: The Catalysts in Heart Monitoring & Healing Processes
Doctors and surgeon are heavily dependent on the use of biomarkers in their medical practices. Biological markers or biomarkers are any accurately and reproducibly measurable characteristic of a living organism that reflects a specific physiological state. They are essential to medicine, as they provide an indication of whether the body is exposed to a chemical, toxin, or any other environmental factor. Biomarkers assess the effectiveness of particular therapies in relieving the painful effects of any disease. They are even used to monitor a patient’s reaction to a given specific drug, and evaluate if the treatment is effective for that individual. This provides an accurate idea of the drug response rate or toxic response, if any, to that drug.
Not to be confused with medical symptoms, biomarkers are signified by activity within the internal working of the body, such as an increased heart rate, which can be attributed to physical exertion.
Cardiac biomarkers are certain substances that get released into the blood stream when damage occurs to the heart. Their presence in the blood stream can be detected through a specialized immunoassay. Cardiac biomarkers are effective diagnostic tools as the help evaluate and monitor patients. Especially, those who are suspected to be afflicted with an acute coronary syndrome (ACS).
Types of Cardiac Biomarkers
The different types of cardiac biomarkers include creatine kinase (CK-MB), troponins (I,T), Myoglobin, Natriuretic peptides (BNP), and ischemia modified albumin. Troponins are used mainly to aid in the diagnosis of chest pain in patients with non-diagnostic ECG. They even identify patients suffering from an increased risk of cardiac events, possibly leading to death. The levels of troponin (I) are also increased in some causes such as myocarditis, cardiac contusion, congestive cardiac failure, septic shock, chemotherapy, renal failure, and hypothyroidism.
Creatine kinase is an enzyme responsible for the transfer of a phosphate group from ATP to creatine. An estimate of creatine kinase composed CK-MB isoenzymes is useful for diagnosis of myocardial infarction and reinfarction.
Meanwhile, myoglobin is an oxygen-storing protein that is present in skeletal and cardiac muscle. This biomarker is released into circulation and is measurable by doctors almost an hour after myocardial injury. Myoglobin is the earliest marker to appear, but it cannot show cardiac specificity. It cannot be used alone for diagnosing myocardial infarction, rather supplemented with more cardiac-specific markers, such as troponin I.
Inflammation, which is directly involved in coronary plaque atherogenesis, causes the release of hs-C-reactive protein (hs-CRP),.
Cardiac biomarkers are essential components as they aid in the diagnosis of ACS, along with risk stratification and prognostication of patients. Depending on the time taken to give a positive result after the onset of initial symptoms, the earliest markers are myoglobin and CK-MB isoforms. The ideal cardiac biomarkers are CK-MB and troponins in the intermediate period of 6–24 hours.
The time schedule for biomarker testing is also an important aspect for consideration. The sample time of 3–4 hours is useful where rapid triage and early diagnosis is useful, such as in chest pain observation. However, in other patients admitted for ACS, the cardiac biomarkers drawn at the 6–9 hours sample are more helpful.
The cardiac biomarker tests are designed to help in the diagnosis and treatment of heart diseases. The monitoring requirements for all disorders are different, which is why the tests are ordered to help detect the presence of ACS and cardiac ischemia to evaluate their severity. Doctors can provide precise diagnosis and immediate treatment of heart conditions by timely and careful monitoring of one or more cardiac biomarkers in the blood stream. Acute coronary syndrome, congestive heart failure, atherosclerosis, and myocardial infarction have cardiac biomarkers.
Expert analysts at Allied Market Research who have closely been following the market observed that myocardial infarction requires the greater focus from cardiac biomarker research. Biomarker research has seen exciting prospects in the recent years since many doctors and researchers are shedding more light on the pathophysiological mechanisms of acute or chronic heart failure. Sensitive assays of cardiovascular biomarkers can be targeted towards specific treatments. The cardiac biomarker field is transforming the way timely treatments are administered to patients. Moreover, technological advancements that have used combinations of multiple cardiac biomarkers has proved their success in diagnostic care.
About The Author
Sayanika Gupta is a content writer at Allied Market Research. She follows industry trends and shares insights on specific topics and provides a comprehensive industry overview.