Emerging families of biomarkers for coronary artery disease: inflammatory mediators

Vasc Health Risk Manag. 2013;9:435-56. doi: 10.2147/VHRM.S45704. Epub 2013 Jul 31.


Introduction: Inflammation has been implicated in the development of atherosclerosis in patients with acute coronary syndrome. C-reactive protein is an established nonspecific prognostic inflammatory biomarker for patients with acute coronary syndrome in the medical literature. This has led to a concerted effort to identify circulating inflammatory biomarkers to facilitate predicting the risk for and diagnosing coronary artery disease in at-risk subjects. The objective of this study was to search after novel inflammatory biomarkers reported as useful for diagnosing coronary artery disease.

Methods: The PubMed database was searched for reports published from January 1, 2000 to June 30, 2012 of novel circulating biomarkers for coronary artery disease in addition to the established biomarker, C-reactive protein. The search terms used were "infarction", "biomarkers", and "markers", and only original articles describing clinical trials that were written in English were included. All published articles were separately examined carefully after novel inflammatory markers for acute coronary syndrome. All irrelevant publications without content pertaining to inflammatory biomarkers for acute coronary syndrome were excluded from this study. Our results reflect all articles concerning biomarkers in humans.

Results: The PubMed search yielded 4,415 research articles. After further analysis, all relevant published original articles examining 53 biomarkers were included in this review, which identified 46 inflammation biomarkers useful for detecting coronary artery disease.

Conclusion: The emergence of diverse novel biomarkers for coronary artery disease has provided insight into the varied pathophysiology of this disease. Inflammatory biomarkers have tremendous potential in aiding the prediction of acute coronary syndrome and recurrent ischemic episodes, and will eventually help improve patient care and management.

Keywords: arteriosclerosis; biomarkers; coronary artery disease; inflammation; markers; myocardial infarction.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Coronary Artery Disease / blood
  • Coronary Artery Disease / diagnosis
  • Coronary Artery Disease / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation Mediators / blood*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis


  • Biomarkers
  • Inflammation Mediators