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Invited Commentary
Mar 26, 2012

Interpreting Biomarkers During Percutaneous Coronary Intervention: The Need to Reevaluate Our Approach: Comment on “Troponin Criteria for Myocardial Infarction After Percutaneous Coronary Intervention”

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Departments of Medicine, University of Arizona, Tucson (Dr Alpert); and Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota (Dr Jaffe).

Arch Intern Med. 2012;172(6):508-509. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2011.2284

Cardiac biomarkers are biologically active proteins usually measured in blood. Interpretation of elevated cardiac biomarker values should always be conducted in relation to the clinical context and never in isolation. Biomarkers are, thus, complementary tools to be used along with the health care provider's clinical skills. There are many cardiac biomarkers, but they can be subdivided into 4 broad categories: those related to cardiac injury, inflammation, hemodynamic stress, and thrombosis. Their usefulness depends on the accuracy and reproducibility of the measurements, the discriminatory limits separating pathologic abnormalities from normal findings, their sensitivity and specificity for specific organ damage and disease processes, and the clinical consequences of an elevated biomarker value.1 Release of cardiac biomarkers indicates a pathologic process involving the heart.