Characterization of myocardial injury phenotype by thermal liquid biopsy

Karita C.F. Lidani, Robert Buscaglia, Patrick J. Trainor, Shubham Tomar, Alagammai Kaliappan, Andrew P. DeFilippis, Nichola C. Garbett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and aims: With the advent and implementation of high-sensitivity cardiac troponin assays, differentiation of patients with distinct types of myocardial injuries, including acute thrombotic myocardial infarction (TMI), acute non-thrombotic myocardial injury (nTMi), and chronic coronary atherosclerotic disease (cCAD), is of pressing clinical importance. Thermal liquid biopsy (TLB) emerges as a valuable diagnostic tool, relying on identifying thermally induced conformational changes of biomolecules in blood plasma. While TLB has proven useful in detecting and monitoring several cancers and autoimmune diseases, its application in cardiovascular diseases remains unexplored. In this proof-of-concept study, we sought to determine and characterize TLB profiles in patients with TMI, nTMi, and cCAD at multiple acute-phase time points (T 0 h, T 2 h, T 4 h, T 24 h, T 48 h) as well as a follow-up time point (Tfu) when the patient was in a stable state. Methods: TLB profiles were collected for 115 patients (60 with TMI, 35 with nTMi, and 20 with cCAD) who underwent coronary angiography at the event presentation and had subsequent follow-up. Medical history, physical, electrocardiographic, histological, biochemical, and angiographic data were gathered through medical records, standardized patient interviews, and core laboratory measurements. Results: Distinctive signatures were noted in the median TLB profiles across the three patient types. TLB profiles for TMI and nTMi patients exhibited gradual changes from T0 to Tfu, with significant differences during the acute and quiescent phases. During the quiescent phase, all three patient types demonstrated similar TLB signatures. An unsupervised clustering analysis revealed a unique TLB signature for the patients with TMI. TLB metrics generated from specific features of TLB profiles were tested for differences between patient groups. The first moment temperature (TFM) metric distinguished all three groups at time of presentation (T0). In addition, 13 other TLB-derived metrics were shown to have distinct distributions between patients with TMI and those with cCAD. Conclusion: Our findings demonstrated the use of TLB as a sensitive and data-rich technique to be explored in cardiovascular diseases, thus providing valuable insight into acute myocardial injury events.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1342255
JournalFrontiers in Cardiovascular Medicine
StatePublished - 2024


  • longitudinal study
  • myocardial infarction
  • myocardial injury
  • thermal liquid biopsy
  • unsupervised clustering analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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