A new blood test has diagnosed heart attacks faster in a clinical study performed at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.
The blood test features high sensitivity for cardiac troponin, and is intended to determine if a person is having a heart attack upon arriving in the emergency room.
During the study, the test was observed to be safe and effective. Its efficacy was compared to a standard method that requires three hours to complete.
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center cardiologist Rebecca Vigen said: “We did not miss any heart attacks using this test in this population.
“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 research study involved a total of 536 patients who were admitted to an emergency room with heart attack symptoms such as chest pains and shortness of breath.
A procedure developed by the university’s team was used to evaluate results obtained using the new test. Data showed that the test could successfully rule out heart attack in 30% of patients instantly and another 25% at one hour.
At three hours, the new approach was able to rule out 83.8% of patients compared to 80.4% in the case of the traditional test.
Vigen added: “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.”
Results from the research were published in the American Heart Association’s Circulation journal.