Open Access Highly Accessed Review

Cardiac biomarkers in the intensive care unit

Anthony S McLean* and Stephen J Huang

Author Affiliations

Department of Intensive Care Medicine, Nepean Hospital, Sydney Medical School, Penrith, NSW 2750, Australia

For all author emails, please log on.

Annals of Intensive Care 2012, 2:8  doi:10.1186/2110-5820-2-8

Published: 7 March 2012

Abstract

Cardiac biomarkers (CB) were first developed for assisting the diagnosis of cardiac events, especially acute myocardial infarction. The discoveries of other CB, the better understanding of cardiac disease process and the advancement in detection technology has pushed the applications of CB beyond the 'diagnosis' boundary. Not only the measurements of CB are more sensitive, the applications have now covered staging of cardiac disease, timing of cardiac events and prognostication. Further, CB have made their way to the intensive care setting where their uses are not just confined to cardiac related areas. With the better understanding of the CB properties, CB can now help detecting various acute processes such as pulmonary embolism, sepsis-related myocardial depression, acute heart failure, renal failure and acute lung injury. This article discusses the properties and the uses of common CB, with special reference to the intensive care setting. The potential utility of "multimarkers" approach and microRNA as the future CB are also briefly discussed.