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More sensitive blood test may diagnose heart attacks faster

2018/8/8 9:43:53   source:Xinhua

Researchers have developed a new test that may help emergency room doctors more quickly determine whether patients with chest pain are having a heart attack.

The new high-sensitivity blood test for cardiac troponin, given in a hospital emergency room, was also found to be safe and effective, according to new research published in the American Heart Association's journal Circulation.

When patients present to emergency rooms with heart attack symptoms, doctors assess them in part by using a cardiac troponin test to measure a protein released into the blood when the heart is damaged.

"We did not miss any heart attacks using this test in this population," lead author Rebecca Vigen, a cardiologist at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, said Monday in a press release. "The test also allowed us to determine faster that many patients who had symptoms of a heart attack were not having a heart attack than if we had relied on the traditional test."

The new procedure successfully "ruled out" 30 percent of patients immediately and an additional 25 percent at one hour. By three hours, the new procedure ruled out heart attack in 83.8 percent of patients compared with 80.4 percent using the conventional test.

"We anticipate that this procedure will allow many patients with chest pain to be given a 'yes' or 'no' diagnosis of whether they are having a heart attack faster," said Vigen, who hopes clinicians from other institutions will learn from these results.

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