Heart-type fatty acid-binding protein as a potential biomarker of acute carbon monoxide poisoning

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The aim of this study was to investigate the role of serum heart-type fatty acid-binding protein (H-FABP) in the evaluation of patients with carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.


Forty patients with acute CO poisoning admitted to the emergency department and 15 healthy adults as the control group were included in the study. Serum H-FABP levels of patients were studied on admission and at the 6th, 12th, and 18th hours. Patients were divided into 3 groups according to clinical severity as mild, moderate, and severe. Patients were also divided into 2 groups according to treatment with hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) or normobaric oxygen.


Serum H-FABP levels of the patients were higher than those of the control group. There was a negative correlation between H-FABP levels and Glasgow Coma Scale score on admission. Heart-type fatty acid-binding protein levels were significantly higher in patients in the severe compared with mild group. Heart-type fatty acid-binding protein levels in patients treated with HBO were significantly higher than in those treated with normobaric oxygen. The cutoff value of serum H-FABP as an indicator for HBO treatment was determined as 1.5 ng/mL or higher, with a sensitivity of 85.7% and specificity of 69.7%. Serial measurement revealed that H-FABP level peaked at the sixth hour and reduced over time but remained higher than in the control group at the 18th hour.


Heart-type fatty acid-binding protein may be a promising novel biomarker in the evaluation of clinical severity and in the selection of patients for HBO therapy in acute CO poisoning.

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