New Blood Test Predicts Heart Attacks

A new blood test has been developed that has the capability to predict an individual's risk of suffering from heart attacks.

Researchers from the Scripps Translational Science Institute have discovered a new method of identifying individuals with higher risks of suffering from heart attacks. The test can provide information two weeks before the onset of the disease occurs.

According to lead researcher, Eric Topol, if the test can be a reliable source of information, then physicians can use this as a tool to locate the problem and establish treatments before myocardial infarctions occur.Thus preventing more damage to the heart.

The authors stated that heart attacks are frequently unpredictable - that it could go at any time without prior notice. They added that if there is an accurate method in predicting the disease, serious problems would more likely be prevented.

In the research, 94 subjects were studied - 50 of them had a history of heart attacks and the other 44 had non (healthy control). Blood samples were taken from each one to specifically identify a known cell of the heart called the circulating endothelial cell, which is abundant in the inner linings of the blood vessels. When these cells brake off the inner linings, it signals for the initial stages of myocardial infarction.

Why CECs?

Some cardiologists think that myocardial infarction occurs days before the clot appeared. During the initial stages of the disease, the walls of the blood vessels become eroded, causing endothelial cells to flake off, attracting inflammatory cells to the site, which in turn damages the endothelial cells that line the walls of the blood vessel. Inflammation causes the cells to clump together forming a clot breaking into the blood stream.

Results of the Study

1. Among the findings, Circulating endothelial cells (CECs) blood levels of people who had heart attacks were four times higher than those who were healthy.

2. Not only were the levels higher, also the CECs had changed: they were larger, misshapened, and multinucleated.

"For the first time, we can isolate these cells through techniques that were not available in 1999." said Topol.

No comments:

Post a Comment