Specificity of elevated serum MB creatine phosphokinase activity in the diagnosis of acute myocardial infarction

Robert Roberts, K. S. Gowda, Philip A. Ludbrook, Burton E. Sobel

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Creatine phosphokinase (CPK) isoenzyme determinations are useful in the diagnosis of myocardial infarction. However, until suitably sensitive and precise quantitative procedures became available, the diagnostic specificity of serum CPK isoenzyme elevations could not be thoroughly examined. In this study an assay procedure capable of accurately determining activity of individual CPK isoenzymes even in serum samples with normal total CPK activity was employed to obtain two types of information. First, CPK isoenzyme profiles were examined in extracts of a spectrum of human tissues obtained at operation to determine whether the isoenzyme associated with myocardium is present in other human tissues in quantities sufficient to produce increased activity in serum. In addition, CPK isoenzymes were analyzed quantitatively in serial serum samples from 50 hospitalized control subjects, 100 patients with acute myocardial infarction, 100 patients undergoing noncardiac surgery and 50 patients undergoing cardiac catheterization to determine whether insult to tissues other than the heart is associated with increased "myocardial" CPK isoenzyme activity in serum. Results from analyses of tissue extracts indicated that myocardium is the only tissue surveyed containing sufficient MB CPK to account for substantial increases in serum MB activity. Results from analyses of serial serum samples indicated that MB CPK activity levels are consistently elevated after myocardial infarction, averaging 0.089 IU/ml. However, after cardiac catheterization or noncardiac surgery peak serum MB activity remains low, averaging only 0.004 IU/ml despite marked elevations in total serum CPK activity. Thus, elevated serum MB CPK activity is a highly specific as well as sensitive criterion of myocardial injury.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)433-437
Number of pages5
JournalThe American journal of cardiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 6 1975


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