Heart fatty acid binding protein (H-FABP) as a diagnostic biomarker in patients with acute coronary syndrome

Heart Lung Circ. 2010 Nov;19(11):660-4. doi: 10.1016/j.hlc.2010.06.665. Epub 2010 Aug 1.


Aims and objectives: Diagnosis of myocardial ischaemia at an early stage in the emergency department is often difficult. A recently proposed biomarker, heart fatty acid binding protein (H-FABP) has been found to appear in the circulation superior to that of cardiac troponins in the early hours of acute coronary syndrome. We proposed to evaluate the levels of H-FABP and ascertain its utility as an early biomarker for acute coronary syndrome (ACS).

Methods and results: The present study was carried out in 485 subjects, of whom 297 were diagnosed as patients with ACS, 89 were diagnosed as non-cardiac chest pain (NCCP) and 99 people served as healthy controls. H-FABP levels were measured in comparison with standard markers such as troponin I and CK-MB in all subjects enrolled in the study. The levels of H-FABP were significantly raised in patients when compared to controls and NCCP (P<0.001). Receiver Operator Characteristic Curve (ROC) analysis showed H-FABP to be a good discriminator between patients with ischaemic heart disease and patients without ischaemic heart disease. The area under the curve was found to be 0.965 with 95% CI (0.945-0.979). The cut-off value above which H-FABP can be considered positive was found to be 17.7ng/ml.

Conclusion: H-FABP is a promising biomarker for the early detection of patients with acute coronary syndrome.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acute Coronary Syndrome / blood*
  • Acute Coronary Syndrome / diagnosis*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biomarkers / blood*
  • Early Diagnosis
  • Electrocardiography
  • Fatty Acid Binding Protein 3
  • Fatty Acid-Binding Proteins / blood*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Infarction / blood*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Troponin I / blood


  • Biomarkers
  • FABP3 protein, human
  • Fatty Acid Binding Protein 3
  • Fatty Acid-Binding Proteins
  • Troponin I