Herzzentrum Brandenburg bei Berlin – Cardiology, cardiac surgery and telemedicineBlood tests have an orienting function in the diagnosis of heart disease. For some conditions, such as myocardial infarction or heart failure, disease-specific markers can be analyzed in the blood; for bacterial heart valve inflammation, blood cultures provide information about the pathogens involved.
Blood values provide indications of cardiac function
Cardiological diagnostics always include an examination of your blood, because this already provides many indications of your general state of health. In addition, there are some special blood values that indicate the function of the heart. Here you can see a selection at a glance:
Cardiac troponin is a protein complex produced by the heart muscle cells in the event of damage, z.B. into the blood as a result of a heart attack. The detection of an elevated troponin level in the blood can therefore indicate a heart attack or other damage to the heart muscle, even if the ECG is unremarkable.
There are three different types of troponins: cT (tropomyosion-binding), cI (inhibitory, d.h. inhibiting) and C (calcium-binding). cT and cI are secreted in the heart muscle and are therefore particularly relevant for diagnosis. After the onset of a heart attack, an elevated level of troponin can be detected in the blood serum for several days.
LDH – L-lactate dehydrogenase
L-lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) is an enzyme that occurs in practically all cells of the human body and can be detected in blood plasma or serum. If the level in the blood rises, it indicates that many more body cells than usual have died and thus released their components, including LDH, into the bloodstream.
The cause can be an increased death of heart muscle cells and thus a heart attack. But also other organ damage z.B. The LDH value can be influenced by other factors such as lung, liver, bile, muscle or blood, therefore other parameters must be used for diagnosis.
Creatine kinase (CK) is an enzyme that can be found in all muscle cells of the body and in the brain. CK-MB is the special form in cardiac muscles. If the CK value in the blood increases and the proportion of CK-MB exceeds a threshold value, this indicates damage to the heart muscles, i.e. a heart attack may be present. For a definite diagnosis, however, further tests must be carried out.
h-FABP (heart-type fatty acid binding protein) is a protein that is involved in the metabolism of fatty acids in the body and is found predominantly in heart muscle tie. When muscle cells in the heart die during a heart attack, the protein h-FABP is released into the blood and can be detected there after a short time. The FABP value is therefore a way of promptly detecting a heart attack by means of blood tests.
CRP – C-reactive protein
C-reactive protein (CRP) is a protein in the blood that increases significantly when there is inflammation in the body. Thus, an increase z.B. indicate bacterial infections that can affect the heart valves, the inner lining of the heart (endocarditis), the heart muscle (myocarditis), or the pericardium (pericarditis).
However, the CRP level rises in a variety of acute inflammations, such as appendicitis, pneumonia or urinary tract infections. Therefore, further tests must be used for a reliable diagnosis.
Procalcitonin (PCT) is a so-called prohormone, a precursor of the hormone calcitonin. It is increasingly produced and released into the blood during infections. An elevated PCT level can indicate an acute severe bacterial infection such as sepsis or endocarditis, but is not sufficient as the only indicator.
Other analyses and examinations must also be carried out in order to make a definite diagnosis.
BNP – Brain Natriuretic Peptide
Brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) is a hormone produced by the muscle cells of the heart and released into the blood when the heart chambers are stretched too much. This can be the case, for example, in the event of a decrease in pumping capacity, cardiac insufficiency.