Marc P. Bonaca and David A. Morrow
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BACKGROUND: Biomarkers play a pivotal role in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with cardiovascular disease. Active investigation has brought forward an increasingly large number of novel candidate markers; however, few of these markers have yet to be incorporated into routine clinical use.
CONTENT: This review discusses biomarkers currently used in the setting of acute coronary syndromes. In this context, we assess the contemporary unmet needs for novel biomarkers in acute ischemic heart disease and the related challenges faced in developing new biomarkers to the point of integration into clinical practice. In particular, we address the impact of the availability of increasingly sensitive biomarkers of myocardial necrosis on the potential roles for novel biomarkers of inflammation, thrombosis, and ischemia.
SUMMARY: Although active investigation has produced a growing list of candidate novel biomarkers for the care of patients with cardiovascular disease, it has become increasingly challenging to find appreciable incremental clinical benefit for their addition to existing markers, in particular newer, more analytically sensitive cardiac troponin assays. A major challenge for researchers and clinicians will be to demonstrate whether candidate novel markers are useful in improving diagnosis and guiding clinical treatment.
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