Clinical correlation of multiple biomarkers for risk assessment in patients with acute coronary syndrome

V S Narain, Nishant Gupta, Rishi Sethi, Aniket Puri, S K Dwivedi, R K Saran, V K Puri
Indian Heart Journal 2008, 60 (6): 536-42

OBJECTIVE: Biochemical markers are useful for the prediction of future cardiovascular events in patients with non-ST-segment elevation acute coronary syndrome (ACS). The independent as well as the combined prognostic value of elevated troponin-T, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), and N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-pro-BNP) on the Thrombolysis In Myocardial Infarction (TIMI) risk score and on the short-term prognosis were evaluated in a cohort of ACS patients.

METHODS AND RESULTS: In an unselected, heterogeneous group of 80 patients with ACS (i.e., unstable angina [USA] or non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction [NSTEMI]), the levels of troponin-T, hs-CRP, and NT-pro-BNP were analyzed. The correlation between elevation of different biomarkers with TIMI risk score and their impact on 30-day major adverse cardiac events was sought. The levels of hs-CRP were significantly higher in patients who had angina as their predominant complaint (3.67 mg/dl vs. 1.67 mg/dl: p < 0.01), while levels of NT-pro-BNP was higher in those patients who had any element of heart failure at presentation (2616.39 pg/ml vs. 1068.3 pg/ml; p < 0.01). Troponin-T was highest in patients who had an element of both heart failure and angina at presentation (p < 0.01). The TIMI risk score expectedly had a positive and strong correlation with elevated troponin-T, but had no correlation with elevation of hs-CRP and NT-pro-BNP in isolation. However, when any two biomarkers were elevated, the patients were in the intermediate risk group as per TIMI risk score irrespective of troponin-T-elevation. When all the three biomarkers were elevated, the risk equaled the high-risk category of TIMI risk score. Elevated hs-CRP (3.40 mg/dl vs. 1.38 mg/dl; p < 0.001) and troponin-T (2.37 ng/ml vs. 1.23 ng/ml; p < 0.001) at baseline correlated independently with the occurrence of re-ischemia, while elevated NT-pro-BNP alone correlated significantly with the development of heart failure within 30 days of follow-up (4247.76 pg/ml vs. 1210.86 pg/ml; p < 0.01). The highest risk of death from any cardiovascular cause within 30 days of follow-up was significantly higher when all the three biomarkers were elevated.

CONCLUSION: The use of NT-pro-BNP, hs-CRP, and troponin-T in combination appears to add critical prognostic insight to the assessment of patients with ACS.

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