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HEART >> Test >> Cardiac Biomarkers
Cardiac biomarkers, proteins that are released when muscle cells are damaged, are frequently ordered when someone has symptoms of acute coronary syndrome, such as chest pain, pain in the jaw, neck, abdomen, back, or that radiates to the shoulder or arms, nausea, dyspnea, and lightheadedness.

  • Troponin – the most commonly ordered and cardiac-specific of the markers; will be elevated within a few hours of heart damage and remain elevated for up to two weeks 
  • CK-MB – one particular form of the enzyme creatine kinase that is found mostly in heart muscle and rises when there is damage to the heart muscle cells; this test has largely been replaced with the troponin test.
  • Myoglobin – a protein released into the blood when heart or skeletal muscle is injured; this test is rarely used now.   
  • hs-CRP – may be used to help determine prognosis, including probability of recurrence of cardiac events in those with stable coronary heart disease or ACS
  • BNP or NT-proBNP – released by the body as a natural response to heart failure; increased levels of BNP, while not diagnostic for a heart attack, indicate an increased risk of cardiac complications in persons with ACS.

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