More accurate test to diagnose heart attacks faster

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heart chest pain, cardiovascular disease
heart chest pain, cardiovascular disease

The new test can be administered in emergency rooms

A new high sensitivity blood test for cardiac troponin rules out heart attack in emergency room patients faster than a conventional method.

According to new research in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation, the new high sensitivity test is also safe. When patients present at 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.

Heart diseases are on a steady rise in India with young population suffering heart attacks in their 20s and 30s. Latest statistics suggest that in India, there are roughly 30 million heart patients and two lakh open-heart surgeries are being performed every year.

“We did not miss any heart attacks using this test in this population”

“We did not miss any heart attacks using this test in this population,” said lead author Rebecca Vigen, M.D., M.S.C.S., a cardiologist at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. “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 United States Food and Drug Administration approved a high-sensitivity troponin test recently which was already being used in Europe. The researchers developed a procedure for assessing the results of the new test and compared it to existing practice using a conventional troponin test, which takes three hours to complete.

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.

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