More sensitive blood test diagnoses heart attacks faster

August 6, 2018, American Heart Association
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

A new test to assess a whether or not someone is having a heart attack upon arriving in the emergency room was safe and effective, ruling 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 blood for cardiac troponin, given in a , was also found to be safe and effective. When patients present to 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.

"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."

Recently the United States Food and Drug Administration approved a high-sensitivity troponin test already 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. Study participants were 536 patients admitted to an with heart attack symptoms, including chest pains and shortness of breath.

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 attack in 83.8 percent of patients compared with 80.4 percent using the conventional test.

"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 faster," said Vigen, who hopes clinicians from other institutions will learn from these results.

Explore further: Heart test changes could save lives

More information: Circulation (2018). DOI: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.118.033861

Related Stories

Heart test changes could save lives

April 25, 2017
New advice for doctors could prevent almost 3000 heart attacks being missed each year, Edinburgh researchers say. They have called for the guidelines on using blood tests to diagnose heart attacks to be urgently implemented ...

Heart attack blood test sensitive enough to be used in portable device

June 4, 2018
A new blood test being developed to diagnose heart attacks could one day be carried out on a simple handheld device, giving a rapid diagnosis in A&E departments without the need for samples to be sent to a lab, according ...

Heart attack test could help patients across the globe, experts say

November 13, 2017
A low-cost, rapid blood test that spots whether people are at risk of a heart attack could improve the treatment of people with chest pain at emergency departments around the world, a study suggests.

High-sensitivity troponin test reduces risk of future heart attack

June 4, 2018
The newer high-sensitivity troponin test discovers smaller amounts of heart-specific proteins, troponins, than the older troponin test and thus identifies more myocardial infarction patients than before. A new study from ...

New blood test for diagnosing heart attacks: A 'big deal,' with caveats

January 16, 2018
When diagnosing a heart attack, accuracy and timing are everything.

New heart attack test could identify two-thirds of patients at very low risk of heart attack in the emergency department

October 8, 2015
Using a high sensitivity blood test, researchers have identified the optimal level of a protein called troponin that could rule out a diagnosis of heart attack for two-thirds of people attending the emergency department, ...

Recommended for you

Neonatal pig hearts can heal from heart attack

August 15, 2018
While pigs still cannot fly, researchers have discovered that the hearts of newborn piglets do have one remarkable ability. They can almost completely heal themselves after experimental heart attacks.

Genomic autopsy can help solve unexplained cardiac death

August 15, 2018
Molecular autopsies can reveal genetic risk factors in young people who unexpectedly die, but proper interpretation of the results can be challenging, according to a recent study published in Circulation.

Fifty percent of cardiovascular patients suffer from multiple diseases

August 15, 2018
New research led by The University of Western Australia has revealed that one in two patients admitted to hospital with a cardiovascular disease is suffering from multiple chronic medical conditions which required complex ...

Innovative triple pill significantly lowers blood pressure, study finds

August 14, 2018
A new low dose three in one pill to treat hypertension could transform the way high blood pressure is treated around the world.

Drug repurposing study sheds light on heart disease risk

August 14, 2018
A team led by researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital has developed a computational technique to reveal the unknown side effects—both good and bad—of hundreds of drugs. That knowledge could help pharmacologists discover ...

Rethinking the stroke rule 'time is brain'

August 13, 2018
In 1993, neurologist Camilo R. Gomez, MD, coined a phrase that for a quarter century has been a fundamental rule of stroke care: "Time is brain!"

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.