Genomic blood test predicts survival rates after surgery for advanced heart failure

December 13, 2017, University of California, Los Angeles

An experimental blood test developed at UCLA that uses gene activity data from immune cells was 93 percent accurate in predicting survival rates for people with advanced heart failure who had surgery to implant mechanical circulatory support devices.

Mechanical circulatory support devices, such as and temporary total artificial hearts, can be surgically implanted in people with advanced failure to help the heart's pumping function.But people with advanced heart failure often also suffer from multi-organ dysfunction syndrome, which can lead to death after a device is implanted and is associated with atypical white blood cell activity. When and doctors are considering a mechanical assist device, current clinical methods used to predict treatment results have limitations: They do not perform well in very sick patients and they do not use molecular information. That lack of precision in predicting treatment outcomes can complicate the shared decision-making process between patients and their doctors.Dr. Mario Deng, the study's principal investigator, was also a co-developer of an FDA-approved molecular blood test called AlloMap, which is used to diagnose organ rejection in . The technology used in the new study, called MyLeukoMap, builds on the methods used in developing AlloMap.

The study involved 29 people with advanced heart failure who underwent at UCLA from 2012 to 2014. Researchers collected blood samples one day before surgery and took clinical data both before surgery and eight days afterward.The patients were classified into two groups depending on their level of organ function. Seventeen patients showed improvement and 12 did not. One year later, 88 percent of the people in the "improved" group were still alive, compared with 27 percent in the other group.The researchers identified a set of 28 genes from the pre-surgery blood samples that predicted how well the patients' organ function would recover shortly after surgery—and of those 28 genes, 12 helped predict whether organ function would improve after surgery and in forecasting whether the patients would live at least a year after the surgery.

The researchers hope to study whether the test can also be used to accurately predict how people with advanced heart failure and declining will fare after undergoing other types of heart surgery and catheter-based interventions. The test also could help patients and doctors make more informed decisions about treatment options—if it predicts a poor outcome, patients could choose to postpone surgery until their condition improves or could opt for another course of treatment. Ultimately, it could improve , and the quality and cost-effectiveness of care.In the next phase of the study, researchers will expand the research to analyze results for 1,000 patients from 10 sites in the U.S. and around the world.

The study was published Dec. 13 in the Journal PLOS ONE.

Explore further: Successful cardiogenic shock treatment using a percutaneous left ventricular assist device

Related Stories

Successful cardiogenic shock treatment using a percutaneous left ventricular assist device

October 31, 2017
The Cardiovascular Surgery Group at Osaka University succeeded in minimally invasive treatment of a patient with acute heart failure due to medical treatment-resistant cardiogenic shock by making use of Impella, a percutaneous ...

Heart's pumping function is not an indicator of heart failure survival rates

November 12, 2017
Contrary to popular practice, a measure of the heart's pumping function known as "left ventricular ejection fraction" is not associated with the long-term outcomes of hospitalized heart failure patients, a UCLA-led study ...

Successful implant of next-generation heart device marks Canadian first

November 10, 2014
A surgical team at the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre led by internationally-acclaimed cardiovascular surgeon, Dr. Vivek Rao, has successfully implanted a novel mechanical device, the HeartMate IIITM, into a patient with advanced ...

Heart study aims to identify at-risk patients after pump implant

September 24, 2013
Emory researchers are exploring the use of echocardiography, an established non-invasive method to view the heart without radiation, to help identify patients at risk for right ventricular heart failure after implantation ...

First patient ever receives successful transplant after using 50cc Total Artificial Heart

July 1, 2015
A petite 44-year-old woman has received a successful heart transplant at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, thanks to an experimental Total Artificial Heart designed for smaller patients.

Treatment options for heart failure

February 16, 2017
Ask any doctor what can be done to maintain a healthy heart and the answer will most likely be to eat healthy and exercise regularly. But what happens when someone's heart is not healthy and does not pump blood properly? ...

Recommended for you

Heart researchers develop a new, promising imaging technique for cardiac arrhythmias

February 22, 2018
Every five minutes in Germany alone, a person dies of sudden cardiac arrest or fibrillation, the most common cause of death worldwide. This is partly due to the fact that doctors still do not fully understand exactly what ...

Scientists use color-coded tags to discover how heart cells develop

February 22, 2018
UCLA researchers used fluorescent colored proteins to trace how cardiomyocytes—cells in heart muscle that enable it to pump blood—are produced in mouse embryos. The findings could eventually lead to methods for regenerating ...

Beetroot juice supplements may help certain heart failure patients

February 22, 2018
Beetroot juice supplements may help enhance exercise capacity in patients with heart failure, according to a new proof-of-concept study. Exercise capacity is a key factor linked to these patients' quality of life and even ...

'Beetroot pill' could help save patients from kidney failure after heart X-ray

February 22, 2018
Beetroot may reduce the risk of kidney failure in patients having a heart x-ray, according to research led by Queen Mary University of London.

Women once considered low risk for heart disease show evidence of previous heart attack scars

February 20, 2018
Women who complain about chest pain often are reassured by their doctors that there is no reason to worry because their angiograms show that the women don't have blockages in the major heart arteries, a primary cause of heart ...

Can your cardiac device be hacked?

February 20, 2018
Medical devices, including cardiovascular implantable electronic devices could be at risk for hacking. In a paper publishing online today in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, the American College of Cardiology's ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.