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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Blood test may aid heart failure diagnoses

A new blood examination that picks up the presence of a protein discharged after a heart attack could revolutionize how physicians diagnose coronary failures.
According to the findings of a new study, a new blood screening technique that picks up the presence of a cMyBP-C, a protein specific to the heart, a biomarker, when used in conjunction with regular blood tests and electrocardiogram (ECG), can aid detection of heart failures.
The study
For the study, researchers at the Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine evaluated blood samples of heart attack patients.
Unlike an electrocardiogram that can diagnose major heart attacks, but misses out on minor attacks and existing blood tests that pick up all proteins (including the ones not specific to heart), the novel test found elevated levels of cMyBP-C in all heart attack victims.
High cMyBP-C levels signal heart problems
High levels of cMyBP-C are released into the blood after heart tissue begins to break down during a heart attack, researchers noted. Detecting the presence of this protein could serve as a possible biomarker for heart attacks, researchers wrote in the findings published in the Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology.
“This (cMyBP-C) potentially could become the basis for a new test, used in conjunction with other blood tests, to help diagnose heart attacks,” study’s lead author, Sakthivel Sadayappan, assistant professor in molecular physiology, said.
But soaring levels of the protein are also associated with muscle damage, researchers say. Therefore, “a lot of additional studies will be necessary to establish cMyBP-C as a true biomarker for heart attacks,” Sadayappan added.


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