Cardiac enzyme studies measure the
levels of enzymes and proteins that are linked with injury of the heart muscle. These include the enzyme creatine kinase (CK), and
the proteins troponin I (TnI) and troponin T (TnT). Low levels
of these enzymes and proteins are normally found in your blood, but if your
heart muscle is injured, such as from a
heart attack, the enzymes and proteins leak out of
damaged heart muscle cells, and their levels in the bloodstream rise.
Because some of these enzymes and proteins are also found in other body
tissues, their levels in the blood may rise when those other tissues are
damaged. Cardiac enzyme studies must always be compared with your symptoms,
your physical examination findings, and
electrocardiogram (EKG, ECG) results.
Lots of people worry about atherosclerosis -- or hardening of the arteries
-- as a factor in heart
disease and stroke. But did you know that diabetes, high
cholesterol, high blood pressure, a sedentary lifestyle, and obesity are
all major risk factors for atherosclerosis?
Take the case of Barbie Perkins-Cooper, 57, a writer from Mount Pleasant,
S.C. When she discovered that she had type 2
diabetes, she also discovered that she was at risk for atherosclerosis.
What's worse: her high cholesterol...
Determine whether you are having a heart attack
or a threatened heart attack (unstable angina) if you have symptoms such as chest
pain, shortness of breath, nausea, sweating, and abnormal electrocardiography
Check for injury to the heart from other causes, such as an infection.
How To Prepare
No special preparation is required
before having this test.
Many medicines may affect the results of
this test. Be sure to tell your doctor about all the
nonprescription and prescription medicines you take.
Talk to your
doctor about any concerns you have regarding the need for the test, its risks,
how it will be done, or what the results will mean. To help you understand
the importance of this test, fill out the
medical test information form(What is a PDF document?).
How It Is Done
The health professional drawing your
Wrap an elastic band around your upper arm to
stop the flow of blood. This makes the veins below the band larger so it is
easier to put a needle into the vein.
Clean the needle site with
Put the needle into the vein. More than one needle stick
may be needed.
Attach a tube to the needle to fill it with
Remove the band from your arm when enough blood is
Put a gauze pad or cotton ball over the needle site as
the needle is removed.
Put pressure on the site and then put on a
Cardiac enzyme studies are often repeated over several
hours for comparison.