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Could a New Diagnostic Tool Help Predict Heart Attacks and Save Lives?


Posted on Apr 09, 2012

Heart attacks are the leading cause of death in the United States. Each year more than half a million people die from heart attacks, also known as acute myocardial infarctions. Some of these people go to the hospital with chest pains, but are sent home after available tests reveal no problems and then they suffer a heart attack a few days later.

That may soon change if a new blood test developed by researchers at Scripps Translational Science Institute proves effective in future studies. The results of the preliminary study were recently published in the Science Translational Journal. The study looked at 94 people – 50 of whom had a heart attack and 44 of whom had not a heart attack. The study found that the CEC (circulating endothelial cells) for the people who had heart attacks were more than four times higher than those who did not have heart attacks. Additionally, the CECs were changed for many patients who would go on to suffer a heart attack. Some of their CECs were misshapen, had multiple nuclei, and were larger than those found in people who did not have heart attacks.

After further studies, this blood test may inform patients and doctors that a heart attack is imminent within the next two weeks so that steps can be taken to prevent the heart attack and subsequent damage.

Our Atlanta medical malpractice lawyers hope that this test will provide doctors with additional tools to properly diagnose and treat patients at risk of heart attacks so that lives can be saved.

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