Acute coronary syndrome: emerging tools for diagnosis and risk assessment

J Am Coll Cardiol. 2010 Apr 6;55(14):1403-15. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2009.09.071.


Acute coronary syndrome encompasses a broad and heterogeneous population that challenges the clinician at each step of treatment in terms of: 1) diagnosis; 2) appropriate risk stratification; 3) therapeutic decision making; and 4) monitoring response to therapy. Although there are many established tools for diagnosis, prognosis, and clinical decision making, understanding the advantages and limitations of each tool according the clinical scenario is essential. Several emerging tools, such as novel biomarkers (e.g., high-sensitivity troponin and growth differential factor-15), ECG techniques (e.g., heart rate turbulence or T-wave alternans), and imaging modalities (computed tomography angiography and cardiac magnetic resonance) may potentially improve clinical care; however, they must be fully evaluated and validated in different scenarios and patient cohorts before they are incorporated into clinical practice. This review identifies promising new or emerging techniques, as well as established tools, and reviews their current or potential role in clinical practice.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acute Coronary Syndrome / blood*
  • Acute Coronary Syndrome / diagnosis*
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Electrocardiography
  • Growth Differentiation Factor 15 / blood
  • Humans
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Troponin T / blood


  • Biomarkers
  • Growth Differentiation Factor 15
  • Troponin T