Cardiac Enzyme Markers

Cardiac biomarkers or enzyme markers indicate cardiac stress. Doctors use enzyme markers which remain in the blood after these stressful events to learn whether a patient suffered a heart attack, how severe it was, and how it impacted their heart.

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Why Would My Doctor Order This Test?

When a healthcare professional believes their patient had a recent heart attack or may currently be having one, a test for cardiac enzyme markers can determine if the issue is a blocked coronary artery or something else. Physicians may order this test if a patient experiences:

  • Persistent chest, shoulder, arm, or neck pain
  • Chest pressure that lasts longer than a minute

Additionally, sweating, clamminess, shortness of breath, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, or arrhythmia in the presence of the above symptoms may indicate a test for cardiac biomarkers. These tests are the first line of defense against acute coronary syndrome, pulmonary embolisms, acute heart failure, and more.

Which Enzyme Markers Will Be Tested?

The main biomarkers that could be tested are cardiac troponins T and I, myoglobin, and creatine kinase.

Cardiac Troponins T and I

Both cardiac troponin T and I provide the most accurate results in tests for cardiac enzyme markers. They are equally susceptible to cardiac damage, though troponin I stays in the heart for a longer time and is more indicative of certain CVD conditions. Troponin T is more often present in cases of non-CVD-related deaths.

Doctors may order troponin tests as early as six hours after a cardiac event. Elevated troponins can indicate not only congestive heart failure but also sepsis, myocarditis, and chronic kidney disease.


The protein myoglobin is the most sensitive early marker for testing patients for myocardial infarctions. It is most often tested when patients present with acute symptoms of a heart attack, often alongside a troponin test to confirm the diagnosis.

Creatine Kinase

Creatine kinase or CK-MB, which is the subtype found mainly in the heart, is an enzyme often measured multiple times within the first 24 hours after a cardiac event. Patients who have had a heart attack show CK-MB levels at double the normal amount, especially 4 to 6 hours after the event.

Since CK-MB levels return to normal after 1-2 days and can also indicate other conditions, this factor is not as accurate for detecting cardiac diseases as troponins.

Cardiac Enzyme Markers

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If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms above visit your Doctor and find out if you need to have cardiac enzyme markers testing completed. Contact SpeedySticks today if you’d like to schedule a test conducted in the privacy of your own home. 

How to Interpret the Results?

A test for cardiac enzyme markers does not require any preparation. The results will be measured in ng/ml, which are nanograms per milliliter. Healthy, young patients should have no cardiac troponins or very few, less than 0.12 for troponin I and less than 0.01 for troponin T.

Higher results could indicate a problem. Talk with your healthcare provider about interpreting these results and what you should do next.

What Else Do I Need To Know?

 *This content is for informational purposes only and is not meant to replace consulting with a healthcare professional. Please consult with your primary care physician or healthcare provider before engaging in any services offered by Speedy Sticks.