Using biomarkers to assess risk and consider treatment strategies in non-ST-segment elevation acute coronary syndromes.
Since the first biomarker of myocardial necrosis was described in 1954, cardiac-specific biomarkers have been increasingly identified. This, coupled with dramatic evolution in assay technology and resultant highly sensitive assays, has rendered a remarkable transformation in the medical use of biomarkers. Initially used to aid in diagnosis of myocardial infarction, newer biomarkers of inflammation, plaque instability, and ischemia may complement biomarkers of necrosis by providing tools to diagnose impending myocardial necrosis before irreversible damage occurs, and offering additional information for risk stratification. Importantly, biomarkers of different processes may be combined to enhance risk stratification above that of any single marker.
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