Chapter 6

Laboratory Variables and Biochemical Markers

Christos A. Zivlas and Dennis V. Cokkinos

Abstract

Heart failure is a syndrome affecting not only the heart, but in fact all the organs and systems of the body. Therefore, common serum laboratory variables, such as creatinine, play an important role in diagnosis and follow-up of specific organ dysfunction in heart failure. Actually, treatment is tailored according to these variables. More recently, natriuretic peptides were suggested as a valuable tool for the diagnosis of acute and chronic heart failure, substituting echocardiography at the emergency department. Furthermore, these peptides are used for the prognosis of heart failure patients. Many newer biochemical markers related to a variety of pathophysiological processes, such as inflammation, oxidative stress, remodeling of the extracellular matrix and neurohormones, have been investigated in the past few years. Some of them have shown promising characteristics, not only as diagnostic tools, but also as potential treatment targets. Finally, manipulation of genes via micro-RNAs has emerged as a vast new era in the understanding and treatment of heart failure. In this chapter, the majority of laboratory variables and biochemical markers used in heart failure will be discussed. Moreover, information will be given for the clinical benefits of an integrated approach in the management of heart failure patients. Latest advances regarding novel biomarkers will be also presented.

Total Pages: 173-212 (40)

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