Heart-Type Fatty Acid-Binding Protein in the Early Diagnosis of Acute Myocardial Infarction : The potential for influencing patient management

Hafidh A Alhadi, Keith A A Fox


Objectives: The objective of this study was to evaluate the diagnostic value of heart-type fatty acid-binding protein (H-FABP) in patients with acute chest pain and compare it with standard cardiac markers. Methods: We undertook a prospective evaluation of 100 consecutive patients admitted with acute chest pain suggestive of acute coronary syndromes (ACS). Serum cardiac troponin I (cTnI), cardiac troponin T (cTnT), creatine kinase-MB (CK-MB) mass, myoglobin, and H-FABP were determined at presentation and 2, 4, 8–10, and 16–24 hours after presentation. The main outcome measure was the best sensitivity value within 6 hours after symptom onset. Results: H-FABP peak concentration occurred at 8 hours after symptoms onset and was the most sensitive early marker with 79.9% and 98% of patients with AMI identified at presentation and 2 hours after presentation respectively. The sensitivity of all other cardiac markers (CK-MB mass, cTnI, cTnT, and myoglobin) at presentation was < 62%. The negative predictive value of H-FABP (94%) was also superior to other markers within the first 2 hours of presentation. Myoglobin was the second most sensitive early marker at presentation. Peak sensitivity of cTnI, CK-MB mass, and cTnT were present at 4, 8–10, and 8–10 hours respectively after presentation. Conclusion:Combined measurement of H-FABP and cTnI on two occasions during the first 8 hours after symptom onset was sufficiently sensitive and specific for the early diagnosis of most patients with acute MI and may provide advantages over other cardiac marker combinations.


Acute myocardial infarction; Acute coronary syndromes; Heart-type fatty acid-binding protein; Cardiac markers.

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Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, PO Box 35, Postal Code 123, Al-Khod, Muscat, Oman

ISSN (Print edition): 2075-051X ISSN (Internet edition): 2075-0528

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