Review Article

Heart-type fatty acid binding protein (H-FABP) as a biomarker for acute myocardial injury and long-term post-ischemic prognosis

Xiao-dong YE1, Yi HE1,2, Sheng WANG2, Gordon T WONG1, Michael G IRWIN1, Zhengyuan XIA1
1 Department of Anaesthesiology, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China
2 Guangdong Cardiovascular Institute, Guangdong General Hospital & Guangdong Academy of Medical Sciences, Guangzhou 510080, China
Correspondence to: Michael G IRWIN:, Zhengyuan XIA:,
DOI: 10.1038/aps.2018.37
Received: 5 November 2017
Accepted: 28 February 2018
Advance online: 17 May 2018


Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) is a life-threatening event. Even with timely treatment, acute ischemic myocardial injury and ensuing ischemia reperfusion injury (IRI) can still be difficult issues to tackle. Apart from radiological and other auxiliary examinations, laboratory tests of applicable cardiac biomarkers are also necessary for early diagnosis and close monitoring of this disorder. Heart-type fatty acid binding protein (H-FABP), which mainly exists inside cardiomyocytes, has recently emerged as a potentially promising biomarker for myocardial injury. In this review we discuss the sensitivity and specificity of H-FABP in the assessment of myocardial injury and IRI, especially in the early stage, and its long-term prognostic value in comparison with other commonly used cardiac biomarkers, including myoglobin (Mb), cardiac troponin I (cTnI), creatine kinase MB (CK-MB), C-reactive protein (CRP), glycogen phosphorylase isoenzyme BB (GPBB), and high-sensitivity cardiac troponin T (hs-cTnT). The potential and value of combined application of H-FABP with other biomarkers are also discussed. Finally, the prospect of H-FABP is summarized; several technical issues are discussed to facilitate wider application of H-FABP in clinical practice.
Keywords: acute myocardial infarction; post-ischemic myocardial injury; ischemia reperfusion injury; heart-type fatty acid binding protein; cardiac biomarkers

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