Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci 2011; 15 (2): 229-240

Role of biomarkers in patients with dyspnea

C.S. Gori, L. Magrini, F. Travaglino, S. Di Somma

Emergency Department, 2nd Medical School, Sapienza University of Rome, Sant’Andrea Hospital, Rome (Italy). Great Network Association

Background: The use of biomarkers has been demonstrated useful in many acute diseases both for diagnosis, prognosis and risk stratification.

Objectives: The purpose of this review is to analyze several biomarkers of potential use in patients referring to Emergency Department with acute dyspnea.

State of the Art: The role of natriuretic peptides has a proven utility in the diagnosis, risk stratification, patient management and prediction of outcome in acute and chronic heart failure (HF). New immunoassays are available for the detection of mid-region prohormones in patients with acute dyspnea such as Mid-region pro-adrenomedullin (MR-proADM) and Mid-region pro-atrial natriuretic peptide (MR-proANP). Also procalcitonin, copeptin and D-dimer, which are markers of inflammation, bacterial infections and sepsis, seem to be useful in the differential diagnosis of dyspnea. Conventional and high-sensitivity troponins are fundamental, not only in the diagnosis of acute coronary syndromes, but also as indicators of mortality in patients with acute decompensated heart failure.

Perspectives: Further studies with randomized controlled clinical trials will be needed to prove the theoretical clinical advantages offered by a shortness of breath biomarkers in terms of diagnostic, prognostic, cost effective work-up and management of patients with acute dyspnea.

Conclusions: A multimarker pannel approach performed by rapid and accurate assays could be useful for emergency physicians to promptly identify different causes of dyspnea thus managing to improve diagnosis, treatment and risk stratification.

Corresponding Author: Salvatore Di Somma, MD; e-mail:

To cite this article

C.S. Gori, L. Magrini, F. Travaglino, S. Di Somma
Role of biomarkers in patients with dyspnea

Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci
Year: 2011
Vol. 15 - N. 2
Pages: 229-240