Liver and Cardiac Enzymes and Drug Interference By Zohreh Rahimi Professor of Clinical Biochemistry 1 TESTS OF LIVER INJURY PLASMA ENZYME LEVELS As metabolically complex cells, hepatocytes contain high levels of a number of enzymes. With liver injury, these enzymes may leak into plasma and can be useful for diagnosis and monitoring of

liver injury. Cellular Locations of Enzymes Cytoplasmic enzymes include lactate dehydrogenase (LD), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), and alanine aminotransferase (ALT). Mitochondrial enzymes, such as the mitochondrial isoenzyme of AST, are released with mitochondrial damage. Canalicular enzymes, such as alkaline phosphatase and -glutamyl transferase (GGTglutamyl transferase (GGT), are increased by obstructive processes. Mechanisms

of Enzyme Release Enzymes are released from hepatocytes as a result of injury to the cell membrane that directly causes extrusion of the cytosolic contents. In addition, agents like ethanol cause release of mitochondrial AST from hepatocytes and its expression on cell surfaces. Accumulation of bile salts with canalicular obstruction causes release of membrane fragments with attached canalicular enzymes. Increased synthesis of GGT, and to a lesser

extent alkaline phosphatase, can occur with medications that induce microsomal enzyme synthesis, notably ethanol, phenytoin, and carbamazepine. Erythromycin through recurrent intrahepatic cholestasis increases alkaline phosphatase and in 15% of patients

increases bilirubin by cholestatic effects. Cephalexin through transient hepatitis and cholestatic jaundice increase alkaline phosphatase. Aminotransferases (Transaminases) Two diagnostically very useful enzymes in this category are AST or aspartate amino transferase, also known as serum glutamate oxaloacetate transaminase (SGOT), and ALT or alanine amino transferase, formerly called serum glutamate pyruvate transaminase (SGPT). These enzymes catalyze reversibly the transfer of an amino group of AST or ALT to -glutamyl transferase (GGTketoglutarate to yield

glutamate plus the corresponding ketoacid of the starting amino acid (i.e., oxaloacetate or pyruvate, respectively). Both enzymes require pyridoxal phosphate (vitamin B6) as a cofactor. AST and ALT have respective blood half-glutamyl transferase (GGTlives of 17 and 47 hours, respectively, and have upper reference range limits of around 40 IU/L. AST is both intramitochondrial and extramitochondrial, but ALT is completely extramitochondrial. AST is ubiquitously distributed in the body tissues, including the heart and muscle, whereas ALT is found primarily in the liver, although significant amounts are also present in the kidney.

Because the serum assays for both ALT and AST required vitamin B6 supplied by the patients serum, and the patient, an alcoholic, was vitamin B6 deficient (common in alcoholics), the assays for both enzymes showed normal to low levels caused by the absence of vitamin B6. Upon therapeutic intervention, when vitamins were administered, sufficient serum levels of vitamin B6 were present to allow full enzyme activities. This clinical history illustrates the central role of pyridoxal phosphate in enzyme catalysis by AST and ALT, and the importance of understanding the chemical basis for enzyme assays.

With most forms of acute hepatocellular injury, such as hepatitis, AST will be higher than ALT initially because of the higher activity of AST in hepatocytes. Within 24 to 48 hours, particularly if ongoing damage occurs, ALT will become higher than AST, based on its longer half-glutamyl transferase (GGTlife. An exception to these observations is seen in acute alcohol-glutamyl transferase (GGTinduced hepatocyte injury, as in alcoholic hepatitis. Studies suggest that alcohol induces mitochondrial damage, resulting in the release of mitochondrial AST, which, besides being the predominant form of AST in hepatocytes, has a significantly longer half-glutamyl transferase (GGTlife than do extramitochondrial AST and ALT. This frequently results in the

disproportionate elevation of AST over ALT, yielding an AST/ALT quotient, also called the DeRitis ratio, of 3 to 4:1 in alcohol-glutamyl transferase (GGTinduced liver disease. High AST/ALT ratios suggest advanced alcoholic liver disease. It should also be noted that many alcoholics are vitamin B6 deficient, causing lower rates of synthesis of ALT and suppression of existing ALT activity. In chronic hepatocyte injury, mainly in cirrhosis, ALT is more commonly elevated than AST; however, as fibrosis progresses, ALT activities typically decline, and the ratio of AST to ALT

gradually increases, so by the time cirrhosis is present, AST is often higher than ALT. However, in end-glutamyl transferase (GGTstage cirrhosis, the levels of both enzymes generally are not elevated and may be low as the result of massive tissue destruction. Overall, ALT activity is more specific for detecting liver disease in nonalcoholic, asymptomatic patients. Mild elevations are often seen in hepatitis C infection. AST is used for monitoring therapy with potentially hepatotoxic drugs; a result more than three times the upper border of normal should signal stopping of therapy.

Assays for AST and ALT Several variants of assays can be used with these enzymes. In one, alanine for ALT or aspartate for AST is added to force the reaction to the right, yielding glutamate. Production of the latter is then coupled to the enzyme glutamate dehydrogenase, in the so-glutamyl transferase (GGTcalled indicator reaction, yielding -glutamyl transferase (GGTketoglutarate. In this reaction, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) is converted to NADH (reducing agent derived from NAD), which can be measured as an increase in absorbance at 340 nm. It is vital that pyridoxal phosphate be present in sufficient quantity to allow these reactions to

Lactate Dehydrogenase This cytosolic glycolytic enzyme catalyzes the reversible oxidation of lactate to pyruvate. Five major LD isozymes exist, consisting of tetramers of two forms, H and M, the former having high affinity for lactate, the latter for pyruvate. Progressing from HHHH to MMMM, the five possible isozymes are labeled LD1 to LD5. LD1 and LD2 predominate in cardiac muscle, kidney, and erythrocytes. LD4 and LD5 are the major isoenzymes in liver and skeletal muscle. The upper reference range limit for total LD activity in serum is around 150 IU/L. Serum LD levels become elevated in hepatitis; often, these increases are transient

and return to normal by the time of clinical presentation because LD isozymes originating in liver (LD4 and LD5) have relatively low activity in hepatocytes relative to plasma (about 500 times) and a half-glutamyl transferase (GGTlife of approximately 4 to 6 hours. More important is the large increase in total LD to levels of 500 IU/L or more, combined with a significant increase in alkaline phosphatase (ALP) to levels of greater than 250 IU/L, in the absence of other dramatic abnormalities in liver function enzyme levels, especially AST and ALT. These selective increases often accompany space-glutamyl transferase (GGT occupying lesions of the liver, such as metastatic

carcinoma and primary hepatocellular carcinoma or, rarely, benign lesions, such as hemangiomata and adenomas. The source of the LD, most often the LD5 isozyme, is not clear because it can originate from hepatocytes, from the tumor, or from both. The rise in ALP is due to blockage of local canaliculi and ductules by the masses in the Enzymes Primarily Reflecting Canalicular

Injury These enzymes are located predominantly on the canalicular membrane of the hepatocyte and include alkaline phosphatase, -glutamyl transferase (GGTglutamyl transferase, and 5-glutamyl transferase (GGTnucleotidase. In contrast to cytoplasmic enzyme activities, canalicular enzyme activities within hepatocytes are typically quite low; focal hepatocyte injury seldom causes

significant increases in canalicular enzyme levels. Alkaline Phosphatase ALP is present in a number of tissues, including liver, bone, kidney, intestine, and placenta, each of which contains distinct isozymes that can be separated from one another by electrophoresis. Total ALP in serum is mainly present in the ALP in the liver, which has a half-glutamyl transferase (GGTlife of about 3 days, is a hepatocytic enzyme that is found on the canalicular surface and is therefore a marker for biliary dysfunction. The bone isozyme is particularly heat labile, allowing it to be distinguished from the other major forms. In

addition, small intestinal and placental ALP is antigenically distinct from liver, bone, and kidney ALP. The bulk of ALP in the serum of normal individuals is made up of liver. In obstruction of the biliary tract by stones in the ducts or ductules, or by infectious processes resulting in ascending cholangitis, or by space-glutamyl transferase (GGToccupying lesions, biliary tract ALP rises rapidly to values sometimes in excess of 10 times the upper limit of normal. The reasons for this increase probably include a combination of increased synthesis and decreased excretion of ALP.

A high molecular weight ALP appears in serum in cholestasis. This ALP is attached to fragments of canalicular membrane. -glutamyl transferase (GGTGlutamyl Transferase This enzyme regulates the transport of amino acids across cell membranes by catalyzing the transfer of a glutamyl group from glutathione to a free amino acid. Its major use is to discriminate the source of elevated ALP (i.e., if ALP is elevated and GGT is correspondingly elevated, then the source of the elevated ALP is most likely the biliary tract). The highest values, often greater than 10 times the upper limit of normal, may be found in chronic

cholestasis due to primary biliary cirrhosis or sclerosing cholangitis. This enzyme is also elevated in about 60% to 70% of those who chronically abuse alcohol, with a rough correlation between the amount of alcohol GGT is often increased in alcoholics even without liver disease; in some obese people; and in the presence of high concentrations of therapeutic drugs, such as acetaminophen and phenytoin and carbamazepine (increased up to five times the reference limits), even in the absence of any apparent liver injury. Also, its level increases in the presence of NSAID (Aspirin, brophen). Similarly,

elevated GGT and albuminuria have been found to predict the development of hypertension. These increases in GGT may occur in order to restore glutathione used in the metabolism of these drugs. Glutathione is conjugated to these drugs via the glutathione S-glutamyl transferase (GGTtransferase system, and the complex is then excreted. Most assays for GGT utilize the substrate -glutamyl transferase (GGT glutamylp-glutamyl transferase (GGTnitroanilide. In the reaction catalyzed by GGT, p-glutamyl transferase (GGTnitroaniline is liberated and is chromogenic, enabling this colored product to be measured spectrophotometrically. Other Enzymes

5-glutamyl transferase (GGTNucleotidase activity is increased in cholestatic disorders with virtually no increase in activity in patients with bone disease. Measurement of 5-glutamyl transferase (GGT nucleotidase can corroborate the elevation of ALP from a hepatic source. Medication-glutamyl transferase (GGTinduced liver injury ranges from very mild to very severe. Virtually any prescription medication has the capacity to cause liver enzymes to rise in a given individual, and not all elevations are persistent or worrisome. Prescribed medicines most commonly associated with liver injury and elevation of the

transaminase enzymes, AST and ALT, include non-glutamyl transferase (GGTsteroidal pain relievers, antibiotics, cholesterol-glutamyl transferase (GGTlowering statins, anti seizure medications, and drugs for tuberculosis. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is a commonly used prescription pain reliever and an ingredient in a wide variety of products on drug store

shelves. While acetaminophen is safe to use at recommended dosages, overdoses may result in liver damage that can unfold over 2 to 3 days. Sometimes, such liver damage is severe enough to be called acute liver failure. The liver enzymes AST and ALT are usually elevated in these cases. It is also important to be aware that liver toxicity from acetaminophen is especially prevalent when patients

drink alcohol while using acetaminophen-glutamyl transferase (GGTcontaining medicines. Statins Cholesterol-glutamyl transferase (GGTlowering statins such as atorvastatin (Lipitor) can cause certain liver enzymes levels to spike. It is common for liver enzymes to go up mildly in people taking statins. Although rare, more elderly patients are more likely to have adverse liver reactions to statins as they are at higher risk for organ failure in general.

Statin therapy has been associated with elevated hepatic transaminases in up to 1-glutamyl transferase (GGT3% of patients. This usually is dose dependent and occurs within the first three months of commencing therapy, and is not usually associated with any long-glutamyl transferase (GGTterm hepatic dysfunction. The possibility of liver intoxication at therapeutic doses of paracetamol (maximal dailydose of 4 x 1 g) is supported by retrospective, but not by controlled prospective studies. Intended or suicidal overdosages are frequently misjudged in retrospective reports. Transient increases in transaminase values (> 3 x upper limits of

normal) after regular doses of paracetamol are not proof of hepatic damage unless associated with corresponding symptoms or laboratory changes indicative of compromised hepatic function (total bilirubin, INR). There is insufficient evidence of liver injury by paracetamol at regular dose levels. Antibiotics Increases in liver enzymes are a common side effect of many different types of antibiotics such as amoxacillin,

ciprofloxacin and erythromycin. However, it is difficult to predict which patients are most likely to have liver problems from antibiotic use, as many patients using antibiotics already have liver enzyme changes due to other conditions. If you are at risk for liver complications or have had liver problems in the past, it may monitor your liver enzyme levels while you are taking antibiotics to make sure no liver complications come up during your treatment. Anti-glutamyl transferase (GGTepileptic drugs such as carbamazepine and

tuberculosis medicines such as Rifampin (Rifadin) are commonly associated with changes in liver enzyme levels and liver function. Other common prescription drugs that can also increase liver enzyme levels include antidepressants and many antiviral drugs. It is also important to recognize the signs of liver toxicity, including a yellowing of the skin known as jaundice, pain in the abdomen, loss of appetite and nausea. Drugs that may cause a raised alkaline phosphatase include: nitrofurantoin

phenytoin erythromycin disulfiram Dipyrone (noramidopyrine methanesulfonate) is an effective analgesic, antipyretic, and anti inflammatory drug. The minimum concentrations of dipyrone producing interference ranged from 22 to 1423 micro mol/L, depending on the serum analyte being measured. 2 g of dipyrone administered intravenously has a statistically significant effect on the measurement

of CK, LD, uric acid, triglycerides, and cholesterol. ALT ALT measurement is not only widely used in detecting the incidence, development, and prognosis of liver disease with obvious clinical symptoms, but also provides reference on screening the overall health status during health check-glutamyl transferase (GGTups. Some demographic factors, such as gender and age, might also interfere with the ALT level in the general population. Physically, the ALT enzyme catalyzes the transfer of amino groups from L-glutamyl transferase (GGTalanine to -glutamyl transferase (GGT

ketoglutarate, and the converted products are L-glutamyl transferase (GGT glutamate and pyruvate . ALT is mainly aggregated in the cytosol of the hepatocyte. ALT activity in hepatic cells is Medications and ALT A randomized controlled trial (RCT) indicated that the estimated odds ratios (ORs) of ALT elevation in active treatment groups (including acetaminophen, hydromorphone+acetaminophen, morphine+acetaminophen,

and oxycodone+acetaminophen) were 2.57-glutamyl transferase (GGT3.08 compared to the placebo group involving 343 healthy participants, even at the recommended dose. Another commonly used medication, statins, also causes mild ALT elevation. The mechanism underlying statin-glutamyl transferase (GGTassociated ALT elevation is still unclear. Some scholars have suggested that the ALT elevation in statin users is attributed to cholesterol reduction in hepatocytes and co-glutamyl transferase (GGTmorbid conditions, rather than liver damage or dysfunction.

Coffee consumption and ALT Of note, coffee intake might be a protective factor against ALT elevation. In some studies, there was a 50% and 70% decrease in ALT elevation amongst participants who consumed >2 cups of coffee/day or 373 mg of caffeine, respectively, compared to participants who did not consume coffee. The protective effects of caffeine has been atributed to antioxidant activity. Liver function tests and diet There is a clear relationship between the marked rises in transaminases and the number of days on the HCHC (High carbohydrate, high calorie) diet.

Such a powerful relationship was not found with the isocaloric HFHC diet and demonstrates the importance of carbohydrate rather than calories However, some small changes were apparent in ALT when subjects ate the HFHC (high fat, high calorie) diet. A much higher proportion of the calories in the carbohydrate fraction of the HCHC diet was due to sucrose than in the other diets. In contrast, the amount of starch in each of the high-glutamyl transferase (GGTcalorie diets was nearly the same and about double that in the balanced normal calorie diet. This implies that it is the amount of sucrose in the high-glutamyl transferase (GGTcarbohydrate

diet which mainly underlies the marked rises in transaminases. It has been suggested previously that a rise in transaminase activity may be due to the fructose moiety of the sucrose in the diet causing damage to hepatocytes or to lipid deposition in the liver. It seems more plausible that the transaminases are induced by the increased flux of carbohydrate through glycolysis and related pathways. The greater effect upon ALT compared with AST might be explained by the fact that the former enzyme is involved directly with pyruvate metabolism whereas AST is more indirectly related to carbohydrate

metabolism. Hepatic enzyme induction by increased availability of substrate, such as when certain drugs, e.g. barbiturates, phenytoin, ethanol, etc. are taken regularly, is a well-glutamyl transferase (GGTrecognized phenomenon. The HCHC diet also produced small but significant rises in ALP and gGT activities. P450 enzyme classification In man there are around 30 CYP enzymes which are responsible for drug metabolism and these belong to families 14. It has been estimated,

however, that 90% of drug oxidation can be attributed to six main enzymes: CYP 1A2, 2C9, 2C19, 2D6, 2E1 and 3A4. The most significant CYP isoenzymes in terms of quantity are CYP3A4 and CYP2D6. Diet and environment The addition of food supplements containing cruciferous vegetables, such as cabbage, could increase the activity of both CYP1A1 and CYP1A2 by a factor of 70. A further example relates to induction of CYP2B1 by diallyl sulphide in garlic. Another important cause of morbidity due to enzyme inhibition is citrus fruit. The most

important of these is grapefruit juice, which contains a number of potent CYP enzyme inhibitors. These include the plant alkaloids naringin, naringenin and bergamottin. In particular, CYP3A4 is inhibited, leading to altered drug disposition of a number of substances including the antihistamine terfenadine, which can result in fatal cardiac arrhythmia. Atmospheric pollution is also a cause of enzyme induction.

Alcohol and cigarette smoke Liver enzyme induction in cigarette smokers is complex, due to the multiplicity of substances which can be detected in cigarettes. The polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) typically induce CYP1A1 and CYP1A2. Cigarette smoke also contains a number of small molecules, including various alcohols, styrene, acetone and vinyl chloride, which are also inhaled. These are substrates for CYP2E1 and this enzyme is also induced. Nicotine may also play a part in liver enzyme induction and in animal studies it induces CYP1A, CYP2B6 and CYP2E1. There is an interesting synergy between alcohol

ingestion and cigarette smoking. Although alcohol is primarily metabolized by alcohol The synergistic effects of nicotine and alcohol on the induction of liver CYP2E1 also may explain the higher ethanol elimination rates among smokers and the high percentage of smokers among alcoholics. There may be health implications, therefore, as a result of increased CYP2E1 activity for those patients who are prescribed nicotine, either as

nicotine replacement therapy or as part of therapy for illnesses such as ulcerative colitis, Alzheimers disease and Parkinsons disease. Cordaron (Amiodaron) Cordaron is administered in ventricular arrhythmia cases or -glutamyl transferase (GGT in severe cases -glutamyl transferase (GGT intravenously. It is known that Cordaron can cause hepatic damage, especially in patients

sensitive to the drug. Theophylline Theophylline is generally used in departments of respiratory diseases. Theophylline over dosage can cause severe rhabdomyolysis with elevated CK level. It is suggested that the CK activity to be examined only in samples with theophylline concentrations above 30 mg/L. Acetaminophen Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is a commonly used prescription pain reliever and an ingredient in a wide variety of products on drug store shelves. While acetaminophen is safe to use at recommended dosages, overdoses may result in liver damage that can unfold over 2 to 3 days. Sometimes, such

liver damage is severe enough to be called acute liver failure. Acetaminophen toxicity is the number one cause of acute liver failure in the United States, and the liver enzymes AST and ALT are usually elevated in these cases. It is also important to be aware that liver toxicity from acetaminophen is especially prevalent when patients drink alcohol while using acetaminophen-glutamyl transferase (GGTcontaining medicines. THE EFFECT OF ANTITUBERCOLOTIC DRUGS ON SERUM PARAMETERS Serum parameters Patients (n=39) Lung tbc. 19

Lung tbc + alcoholism 20 GGT elevated 3 5 AST and ALT elevated 4 2

Total protein decreased 2 3 Albumin decreased 2 4 *Uric acid elevated

2 14 Antibiotics Increases in liver enzymes are a common side effect of many different types of antibiotics such as amoxacillin, ciprofloxacin and erythromycin. However, it is difficult to predict which patients are most likely to have liver problems from antibiotic use, as many patients using antibiotics already have liver enzyme changes due to other conditions. If you are at risk for liver complications or have had liver problems in the

past, your doctor may monitor your liver enzyme levels while you are taking antibiotics to make sure no liver complications come up during your treatment. Alkaline phosphatase Decrease Anticoagulants (oxalate, fluoride, citrate bind Mg++) Increase Estrogens, gentamicin (hepatotoxicity)

Human albumin injections as plasma expanders (made from human placenta) Diagnosis of acute myocardial infarction The diagnosis of AMI, as formally established by the World Health Organization (WHO), requires at least two of the following criteria: A history of chest pain Evolutionary changes on the ECG Elevation of serial cardiac enzymes (proteins)

Electrocardiogram One of the most valuable contributions of the ECG is in the diagnosis of AMI. It is usually the first test performed and is often the cornerstone (foundation stone) of the diagnosis. The initial ECG is diagnostic of AMI in slightly more than 50% of AMI patients. In about 15% of AMIs, no changes appear on the initial ECG tracing. Serial tracings over a 24-hour period increase its sensitivity to more than 75%. The ECG changes of an AMI are those of

ischemia, injury, and cell death and are Cardiac markers A cardiac marker is a clinical laboratory test useful in the detection of AMI or minor myocardial injury. Cardiac markers are most useful when individuals have nondiagnostic ECG tracings. Individuals with AMI can be categorized into the following four groups. 1. The first is the group of patients who present early to the emergency room, within 0 to 4 hours after the onset of

chest pain, without diagnostic ECG evidence of AMI. For laboratory tests to be clinically useful in 2). The second group of patients are those presenting 4-48 hours after the onset of chest pain without clear evidence of AMI on the ECG. In this group of patients the diagnosis of MI requires serial monitoring of both cardiac markers and ECG changes. 3) In third group are patients who present more than 48 hours after the onset of chest pain with nonspecific ECG changes.

The ideal marker of myocardial injury in this group would persist in the circulation for several days, providing diagnostic information for more remote infarction. A short coming of such a marker might be its 4)The last group of patients are those who present to the emergency department at any time after the onset of chest pain with clear ECG evidence of AMI. In this group, detection with serum markers of myocardial injury is not necessary but is confirmatory. The ultimate complication of most forms of heart disease is heart failure.

Heart failure is defined as the pathophysiological condition in which an abnormality of cardiac function is responsible for failure of the heart to pump blood at a rate necessary for the requirements of the Cardiac biomarkers are released in the circulation due to damage or death of cardiac

myocytes, and measuring these biomarkers in serum or plasma is useful in the diagnosis of myocardial infarction. There are four established biomarkers for myocardial necrosis: Myoglobin Creatine kinase isoenzymes Cardiac troponin I

Cardiac troponin T Biomarkers that indicate stress of myocardium include: Brain natriuretic peptide )BNP( and NT-glutamyl transferase (GGT Myoglobin Myoglobin is an oxygen-glutamyl transferase (GGTbinding protein of cardiac and skeletal muscle. The protein's low molecular weight and cytoplasmic location probably account for its

early appearance in the circulation after muscle injury. Increases in serum myoglobin occur after trauma to either skeletal or cardiac muscle, as in crush injuries or AMI. Serum myoglobin methods are unable to distinguish the tissue of origin. Even minor injury to skeletal muscle may result in an elevated concentration of serum myoglobin, which may lead to the

The major advantage offered by myoglobin as a serum marker for myocardial injury is that it is released early from damaged cells. As shown in Figure 33-glutamyl transferase (GGT5, serum concentrations of myoglobin rise above the reference interval as early as 1 hour after the occurrence of an AMI, with peak activity in the range of 4 to 12 hours (demonstrating 90% to 100% sensitivity). This peak suggests that serum myoglobin reflects the early course of myocardial necrosis. Myoglobin is cleared rapidly and thus has a substantially reduced clinical sensitivity after 12 hours. The role for myoglobin in the detection of Ml is within

the first 0 to 4 hours, the time period in which CK-glutamyl transferase (GGT2 and cardiac troponin are still within their reference intervals. However, the measurement of serum myoglobin has not been used extensively in clinical laboratories for the routine analysis of AMI. The main reason has been the poor clinical specificity (usually <80%) of the protein caused by the large quantities of myoglobin found in skeletal muscle. The best use of early serum myoglobin measurements after admission to emergency departments is as a negative predictor of AMI. If myoglobin concentrations remain unchanged and within the reference interval on multiple, early samplings within 2 to 4 hours after the onset of chest pain, certainty is 100% that muscle (either cardiac or skeletal) injury has not occurred recently. In acute ischemic heart disease, the clinical laboratory plays an important role in detection of myocardial injury. For example, the measurement of the cardiac troponins (cTns) is an important test for this purpose. These proteins are found exclusively in heart muscle cells and released into

the circulation when cells die. Increased concentrations of cTns in the blood are sensitive signs of damage to heart muscle. Three troponin subunits form a complex that regulates the interaction of actin and myosin and thus regulates cardiac contraction. Cardiac troponin I and T The contractile proteins of all myofibrils include the regulatory protein troponin. Troponin is a complex of three protein subunits-troponin C (the calcium-binding component), troponin I (the inhibitory

component), and troponin T (the tropomyosin-binding component). Troponin is localized primarily in the myofibrils (94% to 97%), with a smaller cytoplasmic fraction (3% to 6%). On injury, troponin is released into the circulation. In contrast to other cardiac markers, cTnT and Different

genes encode the cardiac and skeletal troponin I. Human cTnI is 30 amino acid residues longer than skeletal muscle TnI isoforms, giving it unique cardiac specificity. Only one cardiac isoform has been identified. Cardiac troponin I Several manufacturers have commercialized quantitative monoclonal

antibody-based immunoassays for the measurement of cTnI in serum, plasma, and whole blood. Assay times range from 7 to 30 minutes. In addition, a qualitative, whole-glutamyl transferase (GGTblood cTnI assay is available commercially. This system shows a visible colored band for a positive test. Clinical sensitivities of the CK-glutamyl transferase (GGT2 isoforms for detection of AMI at 6 hours after the onset of chest pain ranged from 90% to 95%, compared with 75% to 85% for myoglobin.

However, no statistically significant difference appears to exist between myoglobin and CK-glutamyl transferase (GGT2 isoforms over the early 6-glutamyl transferase (GGThour period. In comparison, diagnostic sensitivities are lower at 6 hours for cTnT, cTnI, 60%) than for myoglobin or CK-glutamyl transferase (GGT2 isoforms. Little, if any differences were found for diagnostic specificities, ranging from 89% to 100%. Troponin C, is not useful as a cardiac biomarker as the troponin C expressed in the heart is not specific for the heart. Several general clinical impressions can be made regarding cTnI and cTnT.

First, the early release kinetics of both cTnI and cTnT are similar to those of CK-glutamyl transferase (GGT2 after AMI; increases above the upper reference limit are seen at 4 to 8 hours (Figure 33-glutamyl transferase (GGT6). This initial rise is due to the approximately 5% cytoplasmic fraction of troponin (CK-glutamyl transferase (GGT2 being 100% cytoplasmic). Second, cTnI and cTnT also can remain elevated up to 5 to 10 days, respectively, after an AMI occurs. The mechanism is likely the ongoing release of troponin from the approximately 95% myofibril-glutamyl transferase (GGTbound fraction. The long time interval of cardiac troponin increase means it can replace the LD isoenzyme assay in the detection of late presenting AMI individuals.

Third, the very low to undetectable cardiac troponin values in serum from individuals without cardiac disease permits the use of lower discriminator values, compared with CK-glutamyl transferase (GGT 2, for the determination of myocardial injury and risk stratification. Finally, cardiac specificity of troponin I and T should eliminate a false diagnosis of AMI in patients with increased CK-glutamyl transferase (GGT2 concentrations after skeletal muscle injuries. cTnI remains elevated 3 to 5 days after the

occurrence of an AMI, also because of ongoing release from the large cTnI myofibril fraction. cTnI has been shown to have diagnostic sensitivity for AMI approximately equal to that of CK-glutamyl transferase (GGT2 during the initial 48 to 72 hours after an AMI occurs. Following 72 to 96 hours after AMI, cTnI exhibits an increased sensitivity cTnT has been shown to differentiate individuals with increased CK-glutamyl transferase (GGT2 due to skeletal muscle injury from those individuals with concomitant AMIs. Furthermore, cTnT has been an excellent marker of myocardial injury in the presence of sepsis, drug-glutamyl transferase (GGT induced toxicities, chronic diseases, malignancies, hematological disorders, and noncardiac surgery

In individuals who had elevated CK-glutamyl transferase (GGT2 concentrations because of (1) acute skeletal muscle injury after marathon racing, (2) chronic myopathy of Duchenne's muscular dystrophy, or (3) chronic renal failure requiring dialysis, cTnI was not elevated unless myocardial injury was detected concomitantly. Cardiac troponin (cTn) Clinicians use cTn values to estimate the

likelihood of MI and the short-glutamyl transferase (GGTterm risk of death. High-glutamyl transferase (GGTsensitivity assays can accurately detect cTn at lower levels than older generation assays, giving them higher sensitivity for the detection of MI at presentation. CTnT and I are proteins involved in the contractile apparatus of the myocardium. Thereby, the heart-glutamyl transferase (GGTspecific isoforms cTnT and I are organ-glutamyl transferase (GGTspecific, but not disease-glutamyl transferase (GGTspecific markers. High-glutamyl transferase (GGTsensitivity and sensitive cTnT and I assays exactly quantify the amount of cardiomyocyte injury. In general, immunoassay is the technique of

Creatine Kinase Isoenzymes and Isoforms CK catalyzes the formation of phosphocreatine from creatine and adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Both cytosolic and mitochondrial isoenzymes have been identified. The cytosolic form of the enzyme is a dimer composed of two subunits (M and B) and thus has three isoenzymes-CK-3 (MM), CK-2 (MB), CK-1 (BB). CK-3 (CK-MM) is predominant in both heart and skeletal muscle, but CK-2 (CK-MB) is more specific for the myocardium. CK-2

increases in the hypertrophied and diseased human myocardium. CK is found in small amounts throughout the body, but it is found in high concentrations only in muscle and brain, although CK from brain virtually never crosses the blood-glutamyl transferase (GGTbrain barrier to reach plasma. Distinct genes encode the M and B subunits, and a third encodes mitochondrial CK. CK-glutamyl transferase (GGT3 (CK-glutamyl transferase (GGTMM) is predominant in both heart and skeletal muscle, and CK-glutamyl transferase (GGT1 (CK-glutamyl transferase (GGTBB) is the dominant form in brain and smooth muscle. CK-glutamyl transferase (GGT2 (CK-glutamyl transferase (GGTMB) is sometimes called the cardiac isoenzyme because 10% to 20% of the total CK activity in myocardium is from CK-glutamyl transferase (GGTMB, whereas in skeletal muscle this percentage ranges from less

than 2% to 5%. Normal skeletal muscle contains approximately 1% CK-glutamyl transferase (GGT2. Thus distressed skeletal muscle can become like diseased heart muscle in its CK isoenzyme composition, with up to 15% CK-glutamyl transferase (GGT2. Its distribution is not uniform, with CK-glutamyl transferase (GGTMB percentage greater in the right heart than in the left heart. Creatine kinase MB in serum by is interfered (increases) by doxycycline that causes cardiomyopathy. Creatine kinase-2 Although

CK-glutamyl transferase (GGT2 was measured first by electrophoresis and enzymatic detection, it is commonly measured now by immunoassays that use monoclonal anti-CK-2 antibodies. All have detection limits of approximately 1 g/ L,are 100% specific for CK-2, and are remarkably similar in clinical performance in the diagnosis of AMI.

Although CK-glutamyl transferase (GGT2 (CK-glutamyl transferase (GGTMB) rises quickly in cases of AMI, it usually takes 4 to 6 hours to exceed the upper reference limit. Peak levels occur at approximately 24 hours. Return to normal (baseline) takes 48 to 72 hours. (The half-glutamyl transferase (GGTlife of CK-glutamyl transferase (GGT2 is 10 to 12 hours.) Factors that can affect the classic pattern include the size of the infarction, CK-glutamyl transferase (GGT2 composition in the myocardium, concomitant skeletal muscle injury, and reperfusion. Differentiation of increased CK-glutamyl transferase (GGT2 due to the heart or skeletal muscle is sometimes difficult. The proportion of CK-glutamyl transferase (GGTMB is much lower in the

surrounding normal areas of tissue than in infarcted myocardium in humans. Increases in serum total CK and CK-glutamyl transferase (GGTMB often present a diagnostic challenge to the clinician as they are also increased in other conditions. For example, elevations of serum CK-glutamyl transferase (GGTMB resulting from chronic muscle disease occur in (1) muscular dystrophy, (2) end-glutamyl transferase (GGTstage renal disease, (3) polymyositis, and (4) healthy subjects who undergo extreme exercise or physical activities (for example, the increase in serum CK-glutamyl transferase (GGTMB in runners). In all these pathologies, cTn has been shown to be normal when the myocardium is not injured.

lactate dehydrogenase isoenzymes LD is localized in the cytoplasm of tissues. The highest activities of LD are found in skeletal muscle, liver, heart, kidney, and red blood cells. At least five isoenzymes exist, composed of four subunit peptides of two distinct types, designated M (for muscle) and H (for heart). LD-glutamyl transferase (GGT1 (H4) moves the fastest toward the anode, whereas LD-glutamyl transferase (GGT5 (M4) is closest to the cathode on an electrophoretic gel. LD-glutamyl transferase (GGT1 is found in the highest concentrations in the heart, kidney (cortex), and red blood cells. LD-5 is found in the highest concentrations in the

liver and skeletal muscle. The hybrid LD isoenzymes LD-2 (H3M), LD-3 (H2M2), and LD-4 (HM3) also are found in the heart, kidneys, RBCs, and several other tissues. Because LD is not a tissue-glutamyl transferase (GGTspecific enzyme, serum total LD is increased in a wide variety of diseases, including heart disease. The use of LD and LD isoenzymes for detection of AMI is declining rapidly. Likely few, if any, laboratories will continue to offer these tests to detect AMI.

For patients having an AMI, serum total LD values become elevated at 12 to 18 hours after the onset of symptoms, peak at 48 to 72 hours, and return to below the upper reference limit after 6 to 10 days. LD-glutamyl transferase (GGTl (the isoenzyme enriched in the heart) rises within 10 to 12 hours, peaks at 72 to 144 hours, and returns to normal approximately 10 days after AMI, paralleling total LD. Because of its prolonged half-glutamyl transferase (GGTlife, LD-glutamyl transferase (GGTl is a clinically sensitive (90%) marker for

As with CK-glutamyl transferase (GGT2 in skeletal muscle, the heart-glutamyl transferase (GGTspecific LD-glutamyl transferase (GGT1 isoenzyme in skeletal muscle can increase twofold (from 10% to 20% of total LD activity) during a 9-week period of exercise training, with parallel decreases in LD-5. Thus individuals must be aware that after exercise, increases in serum total LD, especially in LD-1 and a "flipped" ratio of LD-1 to LD-2 (>=1.0), can arise from skeletal muscle, as opposed to the myocardium. The LD-glutamyl transferase (GGTl increase over LD-glutamyl transferase (GGT 2 in serum after AMI (the so-glutamyl transferase (GGTcalled flipped pattern, in which the LD-glutamyl transferase (GGTl/LD-glutamyl transferase (GGT2 ratio becomes ~1.0) has a clinical sensitivity of

about 75% in individuals suspected of having sustained an AMI. The clinical specificity of the flipped LD-glutamyl transferase (GGTl/LD-glutamyl transferase (GGT2 ratio is approximately 85% to 90% in these individuals. LD increases in serum over about a 36-glutamyl transferase (GGThour period, during which time the LD1/LD2 ratio, which is normally less than 1, increases to values of 1 or above, the so-glutamyl transferase (GGTcalled flipped ratio. This confirmed the diagnosis of myocardial infarction (MI) but could not be used to make acute diagnoses of MI because of the prolonged time (36 hours) required for the flipped ratio to develop, better biomarkers, specifically the inhibitory subunit of troponin, are

available for the acute diagnosis of MI and for confirmation of the diagnosis (serum troponin levels remain elevated for longer than 1 week after the acute event). Because acute MI (AMI) requires rapid and accurate diagnosis, especially now that new treatment options with thrombolytic agents are available, the clinical laboratory has been called upon to provide serum diagnostic tests that can make this diagnosis at an early stage. Until recently, laboratory diagnosis was based on serial determinations of the MB fraction of creatine

phosphokinase (CK-glutamyl transferase (GGTMB). Confirmation of the diagnosis was provided by the so-glutamyl transferase (GGTcalled flipped ratio of the isozymes of lactate dehydrogenase (LD) 24 to 36 hours after the initial acute event and/or by observation of the characteristic time courses for elevations of the three enzymes: CK, aspartate aminotransferase (AST), and LD. Transaminases have not endured as cardiac markers because of their abundance in liver, skeletal muscle, and other tissues. They were soon superseded for cardiac diagnosis by two other enzymes: lactate dehydrogenase (LD) and creatine

kinase (CK). With both of these enzymes, improved cardiac specificity was achieved through separation of isoenzymes. As the subunit names imply, LD1 is relatively abundant in cardiac muscle, whereas LD5 is more abundant in skeletal muscle. Patients with MI exhibit a characteristic pattern of flipped LD, where the normal finding of LD2 being greater than LD1 is reversed. Clinical chemistry testing has become important in detection of CHF. The key tests are B-glutamyl transferase (GGTtype natriuretic peptide (BNP) and the N-glutamyl transferase (GGTterminal

[portion of ] proBNP (NT-glutamyl transferase (GGTproBNP) molecules, which are breakdown products of proBNP. BNP and NT-glutamyl transferase (GGT proBNP are released by the stressed heart and are found in the circulation. As the name natriuretic implies, BNP increases the renal excretion of sodium. Unlike cTns, which are intracellular proteins that escape from heart muscle cells only because the cells are dead or seriously injured, BNP is a hormone that is secreted into the blood. The secretion of BNP is stimulated by the stretch of the heart wall that occurs in heart failure. Measurement of BNP in plasma has proven to be Enzymes as Cardiovascular Risk Markers

Enzymes associated with future cardiovascular (CV) events include lipoprotein-glutamyl transferase (GGTassociated phospholipase A2 and myeloperoxidase. Lipoprotein-glutamyl transferase (GGTAssociated Phospholipase A2 Lipoprotein-glutamyl transferase (GGTassociated phospholipase A2 (Lp-glutamyl transferase (GGTPLA2) (EC; platelet-glutamyl transferase (GGTactivating factor [PAF] acetylhydrolase) is a member of the phospholipase A2 superfamily. It is produced mainly by (1) monocytes, (2) macrophages, (3) T lymphocytes, and (4) mast cells and has been found to be upregulated in atherosclerotic lesions, especially in complex plaque

prone to rupture. Lp-glutamyl transferase (GGTPLA2 displays proatherogenic properties by promoting modification of oxidized LDLs. Several prospective epidemiologic studies have reported an association between increased plasma concentrations of Lp-glutamyl transferase (GGTPLA2 and future coronary and cerebrovascular events. The strength of association varies and is generally modest (hazard ratios <2). However, because some controversy persists as to its independence from LDL cholesterol, no clear recommendation on the clinical usefulness of Lp-glutamyl transferase (GGTPLA2 can be given until definitive data document its incremental value above and beyond traditional CV risk factors. A manual ELISA method for Lp-glutamyl transferase (GGTPLA2. Myeloperoxidase Myeloperoxidase (MPO) (EC; donor, hydrogen peroxide oxidoreductase) is a member of the heme peroxidase superfamily. It is a tetrameric hemoprotein consisting of a pair of heavy and light chains. It is stored in azurophilic granules of polymorphonuclear neutrophils and monocytes-glutamyl transferase (GGTmacrophages;

when released (typically with inflammation), it catalyzes the conversion of chloride anion and hydrogen peroxide to hypochlorite (HOCl), a metal ion independent chlorinating oxidant that possesses potent microbicidal activity. Thus it has a role in host defense against pathogens. It is surprising to note that MPO also may have a causative role in plaque destabilization through its ability to activate latent metalloproteinases (MMPs). Infiltrating macrophages and neutrophils participate in the transformation of stable

coronary artery plaques to unstable lesions with a thin fibrous cap through secretion of MMPs and MPO, which degrade the collagen layer that protects atheromas from erosion or abrupt rupture. Several epidemiologic studies indicate that MPO concentrations in plasma may be an important CV risk marker, especially in patients with unstable coronary artery disease. However, uncertainty continues regarding the additional benefits conferred by MPO beyond Increased MPO is not likely to be specific for cardiac disease, as activation of neutrophils and

macrophages can occur in any (1) infectious, (2) inflammatory, or (3) infiltrative disease process. MPO mass assays based on sandwich ELISA methods have been developed and are commercially available. An MPO concentration of 640 pmol/L, which was reported as the URL, is not influenced by sex or age.

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