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Clin Chem. 1998 Aug;44(8 Pt 2):1855-64.

Biochemical markers of the acute coronary syndromes.

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Department of Pathology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore 21201, USA.


The acute coronary syndromes represent a continuum of myocardial ischemia ranging from angina, reversible tissue injury --> unstable angina, frequently associated with minor myocardial damage --> myocardial infarction and extensive tissue necrosis. Historically, coronary artery disease assessment has been mainly binary, using WHO criteria of symptoms, electrocardiography, and biochemical markers. The creatine kinase-MB isoenzyme (CK-MB) has been a benchmark for markers, but it is not specific for myocardium. Cardiac-specific isoforms of troponin T and I have emerged as sensitive myocardial infarction (MI) indicators and, importantly, for risk stratification of acute coronary syndrome patients. In addition to markers of myocardial cell necrosis, markers of plaque disruption (C-reactive protein and serum amyloid A), "angry" platelets (P-selectin), ischemia (glycogen phosphorylase-BB isoenzyme), and the procoagulant state and thrombosis (soluble fibrin) have potential use. Also, CK-MB and myoglobin have been combined with clinical indicators for monitoring reperfusion after thrombolytic therapy. Biochemical markers will continue to be an important clinical adjunct for MI diagnosis, risk assessment, and reperfusion monitoring in the future.

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