C-reactive protein and other emerging blood biomarkers to optimize risk stratification of vulnerable patients

J Am Coll Cardiol. 2006 Apr 18;47(8 Suppl):C19-31. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2005.10.066.


Several emerging plasma biomarkers may ultimately prove useful in risk stratification and prognosis of cardiovascular disease. The clinical utility of these biomarkers will depend on their ability to provide a reflection of the underlying atherosclerotic burden or activity; the ability to provide reliable, accurate, and cost-effective information; and the ability to predict future events. High-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) fulfills many, if not all, of these criteria, and blood levels of hs-CRP are now commonly used in clinical practice to improve vascular risk prediction in primary and secondary prevention across all levels of low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-C), all levels of the Framingham Risk Score, and all levels of metabolic syndrome. High-sensitivity C-reactive protein may also have clinical relevance as an adjunct to LDL-C for both the targeting and monitoring of statin therapy. Accumulating evidence suggests that several other selected emerging biomarkers may also potentially prove useful in the diagnosis and prognosis of cardiovascular disease. Specifically, data are accumulating on the potential clinical utility of lipoprotein-associated lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2, myeloperoxidase, oxidized LDL, lipoprotein (a), isoprostanes, and small, dense LDL. This review focuses on hs-CRP and these emerging plasma biomarkers, and their potential diagnostic and prognostic utility in cardiovascular disease. Plasma biomarkers that reflect the clinical potential of atherothrombotic disease may allow more precise risk stratification and prognostication in high-risk populations, and perhaps earlier diagnosis and intervention in patients at risk for or with occult cardiovascular disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • 1-Alkyl-2-acetylglycerophosphocholine Esterase
  • Biomarkers / blood*
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / blood*
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood
  • Humans
  • Isoprostanes / blood
  • Lipoproteins, LDL / blood
  • Peroxidase / blood
  • Phospholipases A / blood
  • Phospholipases A2
  • Risk Assessment


  • Biomarkers
  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Isoprostanes
  • Lipoproteins, LDL
  • oxidized low density lipoprotein
  • C-Reactive Protein
  • Peroxidase
  • Phospholipases A
  • Phospholipases A2
  • 1-Alkyl-2-acetylglycerophosphocholine Esterase