Researchers from the University of Cleveland, observed in a recent study, that a test commonly used to diagnose heart attacks may also identify patients at increased risk of death after balloon angioplasty, a new study shows. Blood levels of the enzyme creatine kinase-MB rise after a heart attack. The rise indicates injury to the heart muscle. Measuring CK-MB is a standard diagnostic test for heart attacks.
Foundation in Ohio found people with CK-MB levels more than five times higher than normal after angioplasty or stenting have a significant increased risk of death for three to four months after the procedure. This was especially true for patients with other risk factors such as advanced age, heart failure or kidney failure.
Researchers examined data on more than 5,000 patients, average age 60, who had successful catheterization procedures and did not have heart attacks or require emergency surgery. About 15 percent of the patients had CK-MB levels above normal after their procedures.
Patients whose CK-MB levels were higher than five times the upper limit had a mortality risk of 7.5 percent at four months after surgery. This was greater than the 2 % risk for patients who had CK-MB levels one to five times the upper limit and the 1.5 % for patients who had normal CK-MB levels.