Utility of salivary biomarkers for demonstrating acute myocardial infarction

J Dent Res. 2014 Jul;93(7 Suppl):72S-79S. doi: 10.1177/0022034514537522. Epub 2014 May 30.


The comparative utility of serum and saliva as diagnostic fluids for identifying biomarkers of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) was investigated. The goal was to determine if salivary biomarkers could facilitate a screening diagnosis of AMI, especially in cases of non-ST elevation MI (NSTEMI), since these cases are not readily identified by electrocardiogram (ECG). Serum and unstimulated whole saliva (UWS) collected from 92 AMI patients within 48 hours of chest pain onset and 105 asymptomatic healthy control individuals were assayed for 13 proteins relevant to cardiovascular disease, by Beadlyte technology (Luminex(®)) and enzyme immunoassays. Data were analyzed with concentration cut-points, ECG findings, logistic regression (LR) (adjusted for matching for age, gender, race, smoking, number of teeth, and oral health status), and classification and regression tree (CART) analysis. A sensitivity analysis was conducted by repetition of the CART analysis in 58 cases and 58 controls, each matched by age and gender. Serum biomarkers demonstrated AMI sensitivity and specificity superior to that of saliva, as determined by LR and CART. The predominant discriminators in serum by LR were troponin I (TnI), B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP), and creatine kinase-MB (CK-MB), and TnI and BNP by CART. In saliva, LR identified C-reactive protein (CRP) as the biomarker most predictive of AMI. A combination of smoking tobacco, UWS CRP, CK-MB, sCD40 ligand, gender, and number of teeth identified AMI in the CART decision trees. When ECG findings, salivary biomarkers, and confounders were included, AMI was predicted with 80.0% sensitivity and 100% specificity. These analyses support the potential utility of salivary biomarker measurements used with ECG for the identification of AMI. Thus, saliva-based tests may provide additional diagnostic screening information in the clinical course for patients suspected of having an AMI.

Keywords: biological markers; coronary disease; diagnosis; early diagnosis; saliva; serum.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biomarkers / analysis*
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • C-Reactive Protein / analysis
  • CD40 Ligand / analysis
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cohort Studies
  • Creatine Kinase, MB Form / blood
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Decision Trees
  • Dentition
  • Early Diagnosis
  • Electrocardiography / methods
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Infarction / blood
  • Myocardial Infarction / diagnosis*
  • Natriuretic Peptide, Brain / blood
  • Oral Health
  • Saliva / chemistry*
  • Salivary Proteins and Peptides / analysis
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Sex Factors
  • Smoking
  • Troponin I / blood


  • Biomarkers
  • Salivary Proteins and Peptides
  • Troponin I
  • Natriuretic Peptide, Brain
  • CD40 Ligand
  • C-Reactive Protein
  • Creatine Kinase, MB Form