Biomarkers play an important role in the diagnosis, prognostic assessment, and management of patients with suspected acute coronary syndromes (ACS). Specific biomarkers identify different components of the pathophysiology of ACS: troponins are prototype markers of myocyte necrosis, natriuretic peptides reflect neurohormonal activation and hemodynamic stress, soluble CD40 ligand is an indicator of platelet activation, and C-reactive protein, myeloperoxidase, and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 reflect various inflammatory processes. When combined, multiple biomarkers reflecting different pathophysiologic processes appear to enhance risk stratification, as compared with using individual markers alone. Advances in proteomic technology promise to identify additional novel biomarkers that facilitate diagnosis, risk stratification, and selection of therapies in ACS. In the future, it is hoped that multiple biomarker panels will form the basis of an individualized approach to the treatment of ACS, in which therapy is tailored to individual biomarker profiles.
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