Emergency Room: Go for Cardiac Enzyme Analysis
Doctors at FrontLine ER use several tests to determine if your heart is working properly. A cardiac enzyme test is one of the tools our doctors use to see if you are having, or had already had a heart attack. In this article, Frontline ER will explain the Cardiac Enzyme Analysis, to give you a better understanding of what goes on in the FrontLine ER.
When Is a Cardiac Enzyme Analysis Conducted?
As mentioned earlier, a cardiac enzyme test is carried out to find out if you are having, or have had a heart attack. The tests may also be conducted if you have been experiencing symptoms of heart artery blockage such as:
- Chest pain
- Feeling tired
- Running out of breath
- Clammy skin
- Sweating and cooling
- Throwing up, or feeling nauseous
What Happens If You Are Getting a Heart Attack?
If you are experiencing a heart attack, your heart goes through severe stress. This stress can damage the heart muscles, and when it happens, the heart releases certain enzymes- which is a protein, into the bloodstream.
After your heart attack, the level of these enzymes is extremely high, which is why your doctor at Frontline ER will conduct a cardiac enzyme analysis. The doctor will most likely test for an enzyme known as troponin. This enzyme is released into the bloodstream after a heart attack. It also stays at high levels even after other enzymes have gone back to normal levels.
Can You Prepare for Cardiac Enzyme Analysis?
A cardiac enzyme analysis does not require preparation, especially because it is conducted in emergency situations. However, to help the doctor, it is important to inform them, or the person accompanying you of any medication or supplements you may be taking. Your doctor will also need information about:
- Any previous heart attacks, heart disease or stroke history
- High Blood pressure
- Recent surgical procedures
- The duration of the symptoms or how frequent they have been occurring
What Happens During a Cardiac Enzyme Analysis?
A cardiac enzyme test is like any other blood test. The doctor will inject a needle to draw blood, most likely from your arm. The test takes only a few minutes, and you will have the results shortly afterwards. However, the test may be conducted several times after to see how your enzyme levels are changing.
Besides the enzyme troponin, the doctor will also observe the levels of creatine phosphokinase and creatine kinase. The reason being that some of these enzymes can also be found in other body tissues and their concentration may increase when the tissues are damaged. This means, your cardiac enzyme test should always be compared to your physical examination results, your symptoms, and the EKG results.
In addition to checking for your enzyme levels, the doctor will also check for the following in your blood:
- Cholesterol levels
- Blood sugar level
- White and red blood cell count
- Platelet count
- Electrolyte level
Values and units for reporting the results of cardiac enzyme analysis may vary. Each lab has different ranges for what is considered normal. The doctor will also evaluate your results against several factors such as your general health.
For example, most young people do not have troponin flowing in their blood. Therefore, when the heart is damaged, the level of troponin (T) in the bloodstream. Cardiac T is measured in nanograms per milliliter (ng/ml). If the T level is above the 99th percentile for the test being used by the doctor, you are likely to be diagnosed with a heart attack. Levels that start high and then drop indicate recent injury to the heart. You could have experienced a mild heart attack, and not even known it.
As mentioned earlier, the levels of cardiac enzymes for reasons unrelated to a heart attack. For example, sepsis, a blood infection, can cause elevated troponin levels. Heart rhythm problems such as atrial fibrillation also affect your results.
What Are the Risks of Having a Cardiac Enzyme Analysis?
There are few resulting risks from having blood drawn from your vein. You may get slight bruising at the point of injection, and experience a bit of uncomfortable pain. Should your vein swell after an injection, due to a condition called phlebitis; a warm compress could be used to treat it. In case you have bleeding problems, be sure to inform your doctor. Medications such as aspirin, warfarin, and other blood-thinning medicines may cause over bleeding.
It is wise to visit Frontline ER if you have been experiencing symptoms associated with heart attacks. If you cannot come to the ER alone, find a friend or family member to drive you. Once you arrive at the ER, you will be treated immediately, especially if you are already having a heart attack. This is due to the fatality of heart attacks. FrontLine ER physicians will act quickly to handle the escalating situation and save your life. For more information on cardiac enzyme analysis, contact Frontline ER today.