JUL 11, 2020 11:19 AM PDT

Predicting a Heart Attack's Prognosis with Biomarkers

WRITTEN BY: Jasper Cantrell

Biomarker studies have taken the diagnostic field by storm these past few decades. Many diseases will have unique genetic, chemical, or protein profiles. With enough research, these profiles could diagnose one or more diseases with a straightforward blood test.

Cardiac biomarkers have been around since the 1970s and are used to get a patient’s diagnosis or prognosis. With either, a patient’s mortality risk goes down considerably. Not every cardiovascular disease can be treated the same way, so it is imperative for testing to advance.

ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) is a type of heart attack. Considering the sudden nature of most heart attacks, it has a high mortality rate. Biomarkers of congestion and inflammation have proven helpful in diagnostic tests but remain imperfect. A team from the Universidade de Pernambuco in Brazil sought to study the cardiac biomarker carbohydrate antigen 125 (CA125). CA125’s association with heart failure is already known, but its role in STEMI is still unknown.

The team began by collecting data from a group of patients who were admitted with STEMI. They used two other leading biomarkers for STEMI prognosis, NTproBNP, and hs-CRP, to compare CA125’s results.

The data showed that age, congestion, and heart rate all corresponded to poor prognostic outlook. Focusing on CA125, there was a clear correlation with mortality. Patients admitted to the hospital with high CA125 levels had a higher risk of mortality after six months. CA125 performed similarly to NTproBNP and hs-CRP, inferring inflammation and congestion biomarkers as a whole may have prognostic significance.

This study confirmed CA125’s importance in STEMI prognosis. While it did not outperform either of the other biomarkers, it did perform as well. Patients with higher CA125 levels were more likely to have a poor prognosis. Future studies may find CA125, alongside several other markers, could create a far more powerful diagnostic tool. The better the diagnostic tool, the better the chances patients will have.

The team concludes, “This study suggests that elevated CA125 levels might be used to identify patients with STEMI with a higher risk of death at 6 months. CA125 seems to be a similar predictor of mortality compared to NTproBNP and hs-CRP.”

Sources: Nature Scientific Reports, MassGeneralHospital

About the Author
Bachelor's (BA/BS/Other)
Hey everyone! My name is Jasper and, considering I am pretty new here to Labroots, I figured I would introduce myself. I received my bachelor’s from the University of California at Riverside back in 2016. I started off my career a few years ago with a job at a University over in New York, before moving over into the industry. I'm happy to be writing content for Labroots, and I hope you enjoy it!
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