Risk stratification in cardiac disease is the use of biomarker assays and other diagnostic testing of an individual with disease to predict the risk of future disease and future cardiac events. The results are also utilized in treatment and drug intervention plans.
Studies conducted recently have used multiple markers for risk stratification for patients with CHF, ACS, and previous AMIs. These studies have shown that multiple markers (BNP, NT-ProBNP, cardiac troponins, and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein) can be used to predict short-term and long-term risks of cardiac disease and death. Although many clinicians are not aware of the prognostic utility of these tests, many cardiologists are becoming familiar with this use and using these tests to help assess their patient's progress and likelihood for future episodes. In this way testing with these cardiac biomarkers is no longer only indicated in the workup and diagnosis of CHF, ACS, and AMI, but can also be used in the outpatient follow-up setting.