Tags: heart | attack | test | troponin | cardiac | test

New Test Predicts Heart Attacks

Wednesday, 28 Dec 2011 03:40 PM

A new test can detect a person’s likelihood of having a heart attack, researchers report in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Levels of the chemical troponin are detected in the muscle tissue via a highly sensitive procedure, leaving doctors with the information they need to determine whether someone’s going to have a heart attack, according to the article. High troponin levels equate to a higher risk.
“Early identification of individuals at high and intermediate risk for myocardial ischemia [insufficient blood flow to the heart muscle] is crucial because they benefit the most from early and aggressive treatment,” according to the article. “Highly sensitive troponin assays [tests] have been developed recently that reliably assess troponin levels in more than 50 percent of the general population.”
The research was conducted at the University Heart Center Hamburg, Germany, where the new test was compared with a less-sensitive troponin test.
More than 1,800 cardiac patients participated — 413 of whom had acute myocardial ischemia. Researchers found the new test to be superior in detecting coronary disease in the higher-risk population, while the less-sensitive test was more effective in patients with signs of a heart attack.
“The shortcoming of conventional troponin assays with low sensitivity within the first hours after chest-pain onset led to the evaluation of various so-called early biomarkers in the diagnosis of MI,” the article said. “In our study, the diagnostic information (of the new test) was superior to all other evaluated biomarkers alone.”

© HealthDay

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A new test predicts a person's likelihood of having a heart attack.
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