The use of biomarkers of cardiac injury in the emergency department (ED) and observation unit settings has several nuances that are different and, therefore, worthy of its own set of use guidelines. The markers that are used, however, are the same. The primary marker of choice continues to be cardiac troponin (Tn). Other markers that have been used because of the need in the ED for rapid triage have been myoglobin and fatty acid binding protein. In addition, some centers still prefer less sensitive and less specific markers such as creatine kinase myocardial band (CK-MB). More recently, a push has occurred to develop markers of ischemia, such as ischemia modified albumin (IMA), to determine which patients have ischemia, even in the absence of cardiac injury. As troponin assays become more sensitive and method for use becomes better understood, the use of these other markers are being relegated to lesser and lesser roles. Markers of ischemia are useful, but at present, despite some enthusiasm, are not ready for routine use. Before describing the recommendations for clinical use of biomarkers in the ED, a basic understanding of some of the science and measurement issues related to these analytes is helpful.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine