Scientists have found that changes in expression of small RNA molecules, termed microRNAs, may be a novel way to detect acute myocardial infarction (AMI) or heart attack. Two microRNAs, miR208 and miR499, in particular were shown to be significantly increased in the blood plasma from AMI or viral myocarditis patients.
Currently, AMI can be detected by increased expression of cardiac troponin, a marker of heart damage. Scientists reported in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular genetics (3:499-506, 2010 MF Corsten, et.al.) that miR208 and miR499 levels were correlated with those of troponin. Interestingly, expression was elevated in patients with AMI, regardless of race, sex, weight, kidney function or blood pressure levels.
Taken together this suggests that miRNA detection may be a useful new detection method for AMI. Since the process used to detect miRNAs, called realtime PCR, is very sensitive and fast, detection of miRNA208 and miR499 to diagnose AMI may be feasible in a clinic.
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