A new research funded by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) in the UK has validated that a new blood test developed by King’s College London could help to diagnose heart attacks more quickly.
The blood test is designed to measure levels of troponin protein, while it is expected to speed up the discharge of patients from hospital and save the country's National Health Service (NHS) millions of pounds every year.
The test analyses the rising levels of cardiac myosin-binding protein C (cMyC), which is reported to rise in the blood to a higher extent than troponin, following a heart attack.
British Heart Foundation medical director professor Nilesh Samani said: “These initial results with the cMyC test look very promising for patients, who could be more quickly diagnosed and treated, or reassured and sent home.
“This test could also allow hospitals to save hundreds of thousands of pounds by freeing up valuable hospital beds.”
Testing carried out across Europe showed that the blood test is quicker than a standard ECG test and can rule out a heart attack in more individuals.
The researchers said that further study is needed before the new test can be recommended as an alternative for existing troponin tests, which only measure the levels of troponin in the blood.
Kings College London Cardiology professor Mike Marber said: "We’ve shown that this test is not only just as good as the current test for working out who has had a heart attack, but it’s also much better at working out who hasn’t.
“We would love to see this new test rolled out in hospitals in the next five years.”
Marber led the new test’s cMyC project and received the first BHF Translational Research Grant for the project.
Image: Professor Mike Marber in his lab at King’s College London, UK. Photo: courtesy of the British Heart Foundation.