What are cardiac enzymes?
During a heart attack, or myocardial infarction, damaged heart tissue releases specific proteins called cardiac enzymes. One way to diagnose or confirm a recent heart attack is to test a person’s blood for increased levels of these enzymes.
Why are enzyme studies done?
Studies detect a heart attack in progress or a threatened heart attack, diagnose injury to the heart muscle, and detect the reestablishment of blood flow through a blocked coronary artery after angiography or treatment using a clot-dissolving medication.
How do I prepare for this test?
No special preparation is required before having this test.
How is the enzyme study done?
The person drawing blood wraps an elastic band around your upper arm to stop the flow of blood through the veins of your arm, cleans the needle site with alcohol, inserts the needle, and attaches a collection tube to the needle. When enough blood has been collected, the band around your arm will be removed.
These tests are often repeated over several hours for comparison, usually drawn every 8-12 hours for 1-2 days after a suspected heart attack.
Is the test painful?
You may feel nothing at all from the needle or you may feel a brief sting as the needle goes through the skin. The amount of pain depends on the condition of the veins and your sensitivity to pain.
What are the risks of the test?
There is very little risk of complications from having blood drawn from a vein. You may develop a small bruise at the puncture site.
When will I receive my test results?
Your tests will be evaluated and a report will be sent to your doctor. Your doctor will then contact you concerning the report.
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