Cardiac Enzyme Test
This is a test to assess if a person is currently experiencing a heart attack or had an ischemic episode recently. When you go to the emergency ward at the hospital with chest pain, blood samples will be drawn and the levels of cardiac enzymes checked two or three times over a period of several hours to ascertain if you are suffering from heart attack.
Why should it be taken?
During a heart attack, the heart muscle gets damaged and this releases certain enzymes and proteins into the blood stream, like:-
- Creatine phosphokinase
- Proteins myoglobin and troponin
Sometimes an ischemic attack or a silent heart attack may occur without any obvious outward symptoms. If it slides by unnoticed and untreated, it may lead to a stronger and more serious episode. By performing an ECG with a cardiac enzyme test, you can take precautions, medically, and by altering lifestyle and reducing risk factors for a coronary disease.
What do the results of a cardiac enzyme test mean?
Usually the levels of the above enzymes and proteins in the body are so low as to be undetectable. If someone’s cardiac enzyme test comes back positive for these enzymes, they are likely to have had a heart attack or injury to the heart.
By doing a cardiac enzyme test, a doctor can first find out whether a heart attack has definitely occurred. They can also assess the level of damage caused by the heart attack. The more troponin that is found in the blood, the more damaged the heart generally is.
Sometimes, a cardiac enzyme test may come back normal if the test is performed too soon after an injury to the heart. Usually, your doctor will have the cardiac enzyme test repeated several hours later or even a couple of times to make certain of the result.
It is advisable to follow your doctor’s advice and have this test done to either make sure that you have not had an episode or to manage the illness before it can become a problem.