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Blood test can forecast heart attacks

By Tim Sandle     Mar 22, 2017 in Health
Boston - A new blood test has the potential to predict some types of heart attack. It has been developed at by Prevencio Inc. and evaluated at the Massachusetts General Hospital.
The new blood test could be a game-changer, altering the way that medics diagnose heart disease and possibly offering an early prediction whether an individual is at risk from suffering heart attack. In trials the new blood test has outperformed established methods for monitoring heart health, such as ECGs. Electrocardiography (ECG) is a method used to record the electrical activity of the heart over a period of time. This is by way of electrodes placed on the skin. The electrodes are calibrated to detect tiny electrical changes on the skin that arise from the heart muscle's electrophysiologic pattern (which is one of depolarizing and repolarizing during each heartbeat). ECG is a very commonly performed cardiology test. The downside of the ECG is that results can be inaccurate in women and obese patients,
Another method for assessing heart health is nuclear stress testing. A nuclear stress test measures blood flow to the heart at rest and when the heart is working harder as a result of exertion. The test images produced show areas of low blood flow through the heart and damaged heart muscle. The problem with the test is that patients are exposed to ionizing radiation.
With the new blood test, this has been developed by Kirkland, WA-based company Prevencio Inc. The new blood test is not only accurate; it produces results within two hours. The test examines the blood for different proteins. It has been evaluated by James Januzzi, a cardiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital. In a research study Professor Januzzi and his team examined over 900 patients for the presence of obstruction of 70 percent or greater, with the obstruction in one or more major coronary artery. This is the minimum threshold for a medical intervention to take place.
The results showed that the new test accurately indicated the presence of significant coronary obstruction with a 90 percent accuracy rating. It was also found that the test was a good predictor of whether a heart attack with individual patients was likely.
Speaking with QMed, Professor Januzzi said: "These are significant results which have the potential to establish a new standard of care and the potential to save millions of lives.” He added that the use of use predictive models will help medics to catch at risk patients sooner and for surgical interventions to be performed as necessary.
The new blood test (called Hart CAD) is set to go for clinical trial in 2018 and then for U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval. Further work by Prevencio is to develop a blood test to predict the likelihood that a patient will have a heart attack, stroke, or cardiovascular death within one year.
More about Blood test, Heart attack, Heart, Heart failure, Medical
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