Cardiac myofibrillar proteins: Biochemical markers to estimate myocardial injury

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Ischaemic heart disease represents the most common of the serious health problems in the contemporary society and acute myocardial infarction (AMI) is the major cause of cardiovascular morbidity and death. The accurate localization and determination of the infarct size and the volume of myocardium at risk at the time of insult is crucial and vital for the choice of treatment. Initially the ischaemic cells are reversibly injured. However, if these changes are not reverted at the earliest, it results in the death of the myocyte. This irreversible myocyte necrosis travels transmurally towards epicardium in the form of a wavefront [1]. A timely intervention during evolving infarct could reduce and delimit the infarct and preserve the left ventricular function [2].

Enzyme analysis and electrocardiography (ECG) along with the clinical history of the patient is still considered to constitute a reliable triad in the diagnosis of myocardial infarction (MI) [3]. Efforts have been made to relate infarct size with the serum enzyme level changes without much success. In addition, a number of specialist techniques such as planar radioisotope imaging, single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), positron emission tomography (PET), Echocardiography, Ventriculography and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) imaging have been devised to support diagnosis in the patients who show ambiguous symptoms and ECG findings. However most of these procedures are unavailable to the patients due to economic reasons while others have suffered due to non-availability of ideal radiopharmaceuticals. Major advances have been made in the methods based on immunological techniques to improve the detection and estimation of infarct. These methods are exclusively based upon the production and availability of specific antibodies against intracellular, cardiac specific components [4].

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