Biomarkers are as the name suggests, biological compounds that are used to evaluate the condition of a tissue or an organ. Cardiac biomarkers are bio-molecules that evaluate the condition of the heart on a diagnostic basis or pre surgery check up. Acute coronary syndrome (ACS) is one condition wherein biomarkers can identify the area affected and the region that needs to be operated upon. This is because acute coronary syndrome includes a group of conditions that result in (or are a result of) decreased blood flow to the coronary arteries. These include variations of unstable angina, and myocardial infarction (ST and Non ST).
Coronary thrombosis and drug abuse are seen as some of the major causes of ACS and subsequent tachycardia or bradycardia. The symptoms of ACS usually vary from chest pain and nausea to palpitations and vomiting. Being a general symptom, chest pain is not taken up as a confirmation for ACS diagnosis. An electrocardiogram tests, blood test and radiology imaging (angiogram) tests are the most sought after tests to confirm ACS and find the root cause.
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Myocardial markers are often used to identify embolisms and injured cardiac tissues. A majority of such myocardial markers are enzymatic in nature; others are varied in structure and function and are therefore labeled as bio-molecules. Biomarkers are compounds either produced by the body upon ACS or compounds that react with such molecules that helps in easy identification of the root cause. A typical biomarker can last for hours depending upon type and can be sometimes studied far longer. ACS biomarkers take a lot of time for diagnosis in the laboratories, however latest innovations in laboratory diagnostic equipment have reduced the time and increased efficiency. Biomarkers have helped a great deal in identifying stressed cardiac tissues and thereby increased tissue life in addition to speeding up the overall healing process.
Ischemia-Modified Albumin is one common biomarker used to rule out the presence of an ischemic attack. This is done by accessing the change in albumin content of nearby tissues as an ischemia changes the structure of albumin, thereby making it easily identifiable. Cardiac Troponin (I / T), H-FABP, D-dimer, etc are some of the more commonly used types of cardiac biomarkers that are used to identify infarction and embolisms. Every cardiac biomarker has a different process and is either used to confirm or rule out variants of ACS. The mechanism of work and the mechanism of biomarker expulsion is considered while administering to the patient as many biomarkers pose risk to patients with renal failure.
Recently cardiac biomarkers have seen a steady growth in diagnosis of ACS and its variants. Many cardiac health institutes are presently recommending biomarker testing to low risk patients of ACS in order to identify and early diagnose a much serious infarction later in life. Research is being conducted to increase the accuracy of these tests by introducing multiple markers in a single test so as to reduce discomfort to the patient and also reduce the time spent in the hospital.
Globally, the North American region is currently the largest by sales volume. This is followed by Europe and consecutively, Asia-Pacific and rest of the world. The Asian markets have the highest potential in the future, as their populations are among the highest in the globe. Also with increasing geriatric populations in these regions, a great market for cardiac biomarkers shall arise soon in the near future.
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The top players in this industry are;
- ACS Biomarker B.V.
- Cavadis Biomedical
- Comprehensive Biomarker Center (CBIOC)
- Roche Laboratories etc to name a few.