What Is This Test
This test measures the levels of cardiac biomarkers in your blood. These markers include enzymes, hormones, and proteins.
Cardiac biomarkers show up in your blood after your heart has been under severe stress because it isn’t getting enough oxygen. This might be because you’ve had a heart attack. But these levels can be high for other reasons. The levels of biomarkers are often used to quickly find out the size of a heart attack and how seriously your heart was affected.
These cardiac biomarkers can be used to diagnose a heart attack:
Are Heart Attack Symptoms In Women Different
Although most women and men report symptoms of chest pain with a heart attack, women are slightly more likely than men to report unusual symptoms. More vague or less typical “heart” symptoms reported in women include:
- Upper back or shoulder pain.
- Jaw pain or pain spreading to the jaw.
- Pressure or pain in the center of the chest.
- Light headedness.
- Pain that spreads to the arm.
- Unusual fatigue for several days.
If you experience any of these symptoms of a heart attack, call for emergency assistance . Don’t wait for your symptoms to “go away.” Early recognition and treatment of a heart attack can reduce the risk of heart damage. Even if you’re not sure your symptoms are a heart attack, get it checked.
The best time to treat a heart attack is within one hour of the onset of the first symptoms. Waiting just a couple hours for medical help may change your treatment options, increase the amount of damage to your heart muscle and reduce your chance of survival.
Cardiac Enzyme Test Procedure
This test is like a blood test and is prescribed usually in emergency situations of a suspected heart attack. The individual on whom this test is carried out need not fast or take any preparations unless and until if specified by the doctor. It is as always suggested to pre-inform the doctor of any medications if followed before the lab test.
Any medical lab technician will collect a sample of blood with a syringe and send this sample to the corresponding lab for further analysis of the cardiac enzymes.
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Possible Side Effects And Complications
A cardiac enzyme test is a relatively simple and painless procedure. You may have some minor bruising or temporary soreness at the site where the needle is inserted to draw blood.
Be sure to tell the person drawing your blood if you have an allergy to latex to avoid complications. Otherwise, the test is safe and mostly risk-free.
How Is A Heart Attack Treated
Heart attack treatment begins immediately. The goal of treatment is to treat you quickly and limit heart muscle damage.
The goals of medication therapy are to break up or prevent blood clots, prevent platelets from gathering and sticking to the plaque, stabilize the plaque, and prevent further ischemia. These medications must be given as soon as possible to decrease the amount of damage to the heart muscle. The longer the delay in starting these drugs, the more damage that occurs and the less benefit they can provide.
Thrombolytic medications are used to break up clots blocking the artery
Medications given right after the start of a heart attack may include:
- Other antiplatelet drugs
- Any combination of the above
Other drugs, given during or after a heart attack lessen your heart’s work, improve the functioning of the heart, widen or dilate your blood vessels, decrease your pain, and guard against any life-threatening heart rhythms. Your doctor will prescribe the appropriate medications for you.
During or shortly after a heart attack, you may go to the cardiac catheterization laboratory to directly evaluate the status of your heart, arteries and the amount of heart damage. In some cases, procedures are used to open up your narrowed or blocked arteries. These procedures may be combined with thrombolytic therapy to open up the narrowed arteries, as well as to break up any clots that are blocking them.
Coronary artery bypass surgery
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Why Was This Study Needed
Each year about 150,000 men and women in the UK suffer a heart attack, but over 700,000 attend hospital emergency departments with chest pain.
Patients with a heart attack usually have a blockage in one of the arteries supplying blood to the heart. They need urgent treatment to restore the blood supply to reduce permanent damage to the heart. Doctors need to quickly determine whether or not heart attack may be the cause of chest pain. Early rule-out may avoid unnecessary hospital admission, investigations and treatment.
Troponin protein is released from damaged heart muscle into the bloodstream. New high-sensitivity blood tests allow detection of a very low level of troponin soon after the onset of symptoms. The electrocardiogram measures the hearts electrical activity and can show abnormalities in a heart attack. This review aimed to see whether a negative high sensitivity troponin T assay and normal ECG can accurately rule out heart attack in the emergency department.
Elevated Cardiac Enzymes And Troponin
This author has been verfied for credibility and expertise
As a muscle that expends energy, the heart requires its own supply of blood, just like the tissues to which it pumps blood. Blood carries oxygen, which is used to make ATP in cells. The ATP is an energy source required for muscular contraction.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
If an artery of the heart becomes blocked, the tissue downstream from the blockage will be deprived of oxygen. This is called a heart attack, or myocardial infarction (# ‘inline-reference::Harrisons Principles of Internal Medicine Anthony S Fauci et al.
17th Ed. 2008′). In a short time, the cells of the tissue will die, releasing cardiac enzymes into the blood, and that portion of the heart will no longer be able to contract 1. The muscle will be replaced with scar tissue.
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Other Reasons For Elevated Enzymes
Elevated cardiac enzymes can be an indication of health conditions or reasons other than heart attack. According to a research review published in the Journal of Cardiology & Current Research in January 2018, this includes open heart surgery, strenuous exercise, chemotherapy, atrial fibrillation and blunt trauma to the chest. Other possibilities, per the JCCR review, include:
What Are The Causes Of Heart Attack
Heart attack which is also known as myocardial infarction has many causes behind. A heart attack is caused when the blood that flows to the heart is obstructed, mostly by the fat or cholesterol, or anything else as such that in turn forms a plaque in the arteries that pump blood to the heart.
The more common or risk making causes of Coronary heart attack include, but not limited to
Who And When To Pay A Visit To The Doctor Or Be Alerted?
Its always safe to be precautionary and as well act immediately before it turns too late. Some people either end up their lives or lead a severe stage due to the long wait or unable to recognize or pay attention to the symptoms. With that said here are a couple of steps that can be followed
- Dont hesitate to dial for emergency medical assistance or ask someone to drive to the nearest medical support possible.
- If advised by your doctor, take nitroglycerin.
- Aspirin can also be taken if suggested as it controls blood clots and prevents your heart from any further severe damage.
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Why Do I Need This Test
You might need this test if your healthcare provider thinks you’re having or have recently had a heart attack. You may also need this test if you have symptoms of coronary artery blockage.
Symptoms of coronary blockage may include:
Chest pain or pressure that lasts for more than a few minutes
Pain or discomfort in your shoulders, neck, arms, or jaw
Chest pain that gets worse
Chest pain that doesnt get better by rest or by taking nitroglycerin
Other symptoms that may happen along with chest pain:
Sweating, cool, clammy skin, or paleness
Shortness of breath
Questions To Ask Your Doctor
- I feel discomfort in my chest. Could I be having a silent heart attack?
- How much risk do I have for having a silent heart attack?
- How serious was my heart attack?
- What happens now?
- Will I have to take medicine for the rest of my life?
- What is my risk of having another heart attack? Will it be more harmful than the first one?
- What lifestyle changes can I make to prevent another heart attack?
Measure Of A Heart Attack
Ben Shepple, MD, a cardiologist at the University of Tennessee Medical Center, explains that when cardiac enzyme levels are elevated, additional blood tests may be done to keep an eye on the numbers.
“If cardiac enzymes are elevated, then they are typically followed over time to see if they increase, decrease or stay the same,” Dr. Shepple says. “Rapidly increasing cardiac enzymes are typically due to a heart attack.
“Cardiac enzyme tests are a lagging indicator and can take hours to show up in the blood after a heart attack has started,” he adds. “If a patient has cardiac enzymes tested soon after a heart attack starts, levels are often normal. For this reason, cardiac enzyme tests are typically repeated four to six hours later.”
Depending on the symptoms, a doctor may recommend additional tests, says the American Heart Association. These may include an echocardiogram, stress test or coronary angiography.
What Happens During A Heart Attack
A heart attack happens when one or more of your coronary arteries suddenly becomes blocked, stopping the flow of blood to the heart muscle and damaging it causing a heart attack. Lets back up and learn more about your coronary arteries.
Your coronary arteries are a network of blood vessels that surround your heart muscle and supply it with blood that is rich in oxygen and nutrients. Your heart muscle needs this continuous supply of oxygen and nutrients to function. Over time, sometimes one or more of your coronary arteries narrow because of a buildup of cholesterol and fatty deposits on the inner walls. This is called atherosclerosis. Sometimes this plaque ruptures and forms a clot within the artery, which restricts blood flow to your heart. Blocked blood flow cuts off the needed supply of oxygen and nutrients, damaging or destroying that area of heart muscle.
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What Causes High Levels Of Troponin
Damage to the heart muscle cells are the classic cause of high troponin. There are many many other causes such as kidney disease, stroke, infection, pneumonia, critical illness and many others.
Often people are hospitalized and they go home with a copy of their blood tests, one of which is a troponin level. Recently, someone asked me whether they should be worried about a heart attack after they noticed an elevated troponin level on the blood tests listed on their discharge paperwork.
How Much Does A Troponin Blood Test Cost
In respect to this, how much does a troponin test cost?
Clinicians often order cardiac biomarker testing if they suspect these patients have acute coronary syndrome. Larochelle et al determined that providers ordered tests for troponin, creatine phosphokinase alone or CK-MB, at average costs per test of $51.90, $12.33 and $30.80, respectively.
Secondly, how do you test for troponin in the blood? A troponin test measures the levels of troponin T or troponin I proteins in the blood. These proteins are released when the heart muscle has been damaged, such as occurs with a heart attack. The more damage there is to the heart, the greater the amount of troponin T and I there will be in the blood.
In this manner, how long does a troponin test take?
When a person has a heart attack, levels of cardiac-specific troponins I and T can become elevated in the blood within 3 or 4 hours after injury and may remain elevated for 10 to 14 days.
What level of troponin indicates heart attack?
The level of troponin that indicates a heart attack is the level above the reference range. For example if the normal reference range is listed as 0.00 0.40. Then 0.41 is technically positive although very weakly so, and 10 is very positive.
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Results Reporting Critical Findings
Current recommendations recommend that troponin testing should be available in all hospitals 24/7 with a turnaround time of 60 minutes.
In addition to its application as a diagnostic marker for MI, elevated levels of troponin also have prognostic significance high levels suggest an elevated risk for adverse cardiac events. Further, data show that increasing levels of troponin and creatinine are strong predictors of worsening of congestive heart failure.
What Is A Cardiac Enzyme Test
A cardiac enzyme test is one tool doctors use to see if youre having or already had a heart attack. You might also get the test if you have symptoms of a blockage in your hearts arteries such as:
- Chest pain or pressure
- Feeling very weak or tired
- Shortness of breath
- Sweating and cool, clammy skin
- Throwing up or feeling like you need to
- Severe stress on the heart can damage its muscle. When that happens, your heart releases certain enzymes a kind of protein into your blood.
- After a heart attack, the level of these enzymes can get pretty high. So checking them is a good way for your doctor to know something serious is going on.
- A cardiac enzyme test does just that. Your doctor might want to measure your enzymes to figure out whats happening with your heart.
- Your doctor will most likely test for an enzyme called troponin. It goes into your blood soon after a heart attack. It stays at high levels even after other enzymes have gone back to normal.
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Causes Of High And Low Results
At times the values of the Cardiac Enzyme Blood Test may rise or go down. The causes of such irregular values may be Sepsis, atrial fibrillation, certain heart conditions like cardiomyopathy, valvular heart problems, injuries, etc. It is because of this reason doctors instead of just relying on the Cardiac enzyme test for heart attack will also consider using an electrocardiogram.
With the changing lifestyle, a heart attack has no exception in terms of age, gender, or body size. All that said, apart from the Cardiac Enzyme Test your doctor may also suggest for a physical exam and then its your doctors final call about what to be followed in terms of the medication, diet to be followed, physical activities to be done, etc, for a healthy heart and avoid any future risks.
Sudheendra is a passionate blogger for 8 years and holds a Degree in Journalism & Mass Communications. His writings particularly focus on health, medicine, diet & lifestyle. For him, everything that interlinks and relates to health & medical world entices him. His write-ups aim at educating people not by just giving facts but by infusing human touch.
Can Blood Tests Detect Blocked Arteries
Blood tests are used to find out your risk of heart and blood vessel disease.
Elevated levels of substances in your blood, including fats such as cholesterol and triglycerides, proteins and glucose can increase your risk for blocked arteries, known as atherosclerosis. Liver blood tests can also indicate the narrowing of arteries.
If blood tests suggest a high risk of blocked or narrowed arteries, then your doctor will request further cardiology tests to confirm this.
Cardiac Enzyme Blood Test: Low High And Normal Values
Before we dig deep into and understand more about the Cardiac Enzyme blood test and its values. Let us take a little view of what these Cardiac Enzymes are. Cardiac Enzymes which are otherwise called Cardiac Biomarkers include Myoglobin, Troponin, and Creatine Kinase. Earlier, Lactate Dehydrogenase otherwise known as LDH was also considered but is not specific. These Biomarkers help the doctor to see the history of any heart attacks that the patient might have. Troponin T is the main biomarker thats measured during the Cardiac Enzyme Test.
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What Abnormal Results Mean
Even a slight increase in the troponin level will often mean there has been some damage to the heart. Very high levels of troponin are a sign that a heart attack has occurred.
Most patients who have had a heart attack have increased troponin levels within 6 hours. After 12 hours, almost everyone who has had a heart attack will have raised levels.
Troponin levels may remain high for 1 to 2 weeks after a heart attack.
Increased troponin levels may also be due to:
- Abnormally fast heartbeat
- Radiofrequency ablation of the heart
What About Hormone Therapy And Heart Attack In Women
After menopause, the production of estrogen by the ovaries gradually diminishes over several years. Along with this reduction, there is an increase in LDL and a small decrease in HDL . These changes in lipid levels are believed to be one of the reasons for the increased risks of developing CAD after menopause. Women who have had their ovaries surgically removed or experience an early menopause, also have an accelerated risk of CAD.
Since treatment with estrogen hormone results in higher HDL and lower LDL cholesterol levels, doctors thought for many years that estrogen would protect women against CAD . Many studies have found that postmenopausal women who take estrogen have lower CAD rates than women who do not. Unfortunately many of the studies were observational studies . Observational studies have serious shortcomings because they are subject to selection bias for example, women who choose to take estrogen hormones may be healthier and have a lower risk of heart attacks than those who do not. In other words, something else in the daily habits of women who take estrogen may make them less likely to develop heart attacks. Therefore, only a randomized trial can establish whether hormone therapy after menopause can prevent CAD.
HERS trial results
WHI trial results
An increase in breast cancer became apparent after three to five years, but the increase in heart disease and pulmonary emboli occurred early on, in the first year.
MedicineNet Medical Editors believe that:
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