A new blood test may help speed the diagnosis of a heart attack, or medically known as myocardial infarction, to just one hour. (Photo : Reuters)
A new blood test may help speed the diagnosis of a heart attack, or medically known as myocardial infarction, to just one hour.
Currently it takes about three to six hours to diagnosis a heart attack, which can delay possible treatment and resources. Published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, Swiss researchers from the University Hospital Basel tested 872 patients in the emergency department (ED) with acute chest pain.
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For 436 patients, they had their algorithms monitored which served as a basis for the other remaining patients. When comparing the test with the second group of patients, within one hour it classed 259 patients cleared from having heart troubles while 76 were confirmed to have had a heart attack, and 101 patients taken under further observation.
"The use of this algorithm seems to be safe, significantly shortens the time needed for rule-out and rule-in of [heart attack], and may obviate the need for prolonged monitoring and serial blood sampling in three of four patients with chest pain," the authors of the study.
After 30 days, nearly 100 percent of the patients were still alive.
According to CBS News, Dr. L. Kristen Newby of Duke University Medical Center provided an editorial to the study and stated, "With this study, [the authors] provide an important step forward in application of [high-sensitivity troponin (hsTn)] as a tool for triage of ED patients with possible MI. However much work remains to develop the evidence to bring hsTn testing and the algorithms they have developed to use in clinical practice."
According to Harvard University, some signs of a potential heart attack include: Uncomfortable pressure, burning, tightness or pain in the center of the chest; Pain, numbness, or other uncomfortable sensations in either arms, back, neck, jaw, or stomach; Sudden nausea or vomiting Dizziness; and Heat/flushing or cold sweat