Researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine investigated whether microRNAs could be used to detect ectopic pregnancies, as serum human chorionic gonadotropin and progesterone have been shown to have poor clinical utility to detect the condition. From their retrospective study of 89 women who came to the emergency room with vaginal bleeding or abdominal pain and were diagnosed with a viable intrauterine pregnancy, a spontaneous abortion, or an ectopic pregnancy, the researchers found that women with an ectopic pregnancy had increased levels of circulating miR-323-3p, as measured by real-time PCR. "A stepwise analysis that used hCG first, added progesterone, and then added miR-323-3p yielded a 96.3 percent sensitivity and a 72.6 percent specificity," the researchers write in Clinical Chemistry.
The University of Minnesota's Fred Apple and colleagues report in Clinical Chemistry that cardiac troponin I "is a key biomarker associated with increased cardiovascular death in a community sample when evaluated in a multiple biomarker analysis." As part of the Minnesota Heart Survey, Apple and his colleagues looked for biomarkers that might predict cardiovascular mortality. In particular, they examined serum samples from 211 patients who died from cardiovascular-related causes and found increased levels of N-terminal pro-B type natriuretic peptide, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, and high-sensitivity cardiac troponin I in cases as compared to controls. "The current study demonstrates that circulating cTnI measured by a high-sensitivity assay is key in identifying individuals at high risk several years before CVD-related death in a community population-based sample," the researchers write. "Our findings are novel for an hs-cTnI assay and support several other recent studies that have described a role for the hs-cTnT assay in identifying individuals at risk in normal populations."