Instant blood test can diagnose heart attacks

About two-thirds of chest pains are not heart attacks

Instant blood test can diagnose heart attacks

Leer en Español: Examen diagnosticaría ataques de corazón en tiempo record

One of the most well known heart attack symptoms is chest pain. People usually arrive at the Emergency Room expressing pain similar to that of heart problems. However, just one-thirds of patients actually are having heart complications.

Nowadays, the most common heart test to diagnose an attack is an Electrocardiogram (ECG). The ECG is useful in showing major problems, but it is not too accurate in finding the smaller ones, which are the most common. This is why doctors use a complex blood test that can identify muscular heart damage, but to receive reliable results one must wait around three hours while it measures the levels of troponin T and the I protein in the blood.

A team of researchers from King’s College London developed a blood test that just in 20 minutes can diagnose an actual heart emergency from just a simple muscular pain. This new test measures the cardiac myosin-binding protein cMyC in the blood, which rises faster and higher after a heart attack than troponin.

The experiment was tested on nearly 2,000 patients in hospitals all over Switzerland, Spain, and Italy who expressed acute chest pain. The test correctly confirmed which patients where suffering a heart attack and which ones weren’t.

There are many benefits of the cMyC test. First of all, a rapid diagnosis can give the doctors a major capacity of actions for treatment, which clearly can help in the results. Another advantage is the availability of beds and personnel. Healthy patients will need 30 minutes at most and then they’ll be sent home while freeing up space in the Emergency Room for other individuals who are in dire need.  

According to the researchers, the cMyC test will be available to the public in nearly 5 years.


Latin American Post | Santiago Gómez Hernández

Copy edited by Susana Cicchetto

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