Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Blood test helps predict heart attack risk for patients with chest pain

Date:
March 31, 2014
Source:
American College of Cardiology
Summary:
Patients presenting to the emergency department with an undetectable level of the blood biomarker high-sensitivity cardiac troponin T, and whose ECGs show no sign of restricted blood flow, have a minimal risk of heart attack within 30 days, according to new research.

Patients presenting to the emergency department with an undetectable level of the blood biomarker high-sensitivity cardiac troponin T, and whose ECGs show no sign of restricted blood flow, have a minimal risk of heart attack within 30 days, according to research presented at the American College of Cardiology's 63rd Annual Scientific Session.

Related Articles


In a study of all patients (14,636 in total) reporting to a Swedish emergency department with chest pain over a two-year period from 2010 to 2012, researchers examined patients' blood levels of high-sensitivity cardiac troponin T, a marker that indicates damage to the heart. Nearly 9,000 patients with an undetectable level of the biomarker, or less than 5ng/L, on initial testing, and whose ECGs showed no heart damage from decreased blood flow, were included in the study to examine the primary endpoint of heart attack within 30 days. Researchers found that the negative predictive value of the tests -- the probability that patients are not at risk -- was 99.8 percent for heart attack and 100 percent for death. This relationship held true regardless of patients' risk factors for heart attack or how long patients had experienced symptoms.

"Chest pain is a potentially life-threatening symptom, as well as being a very common one," said Nadia Bandstein, M.D., Department of Medicine, Karolinska Institute, Solna, Sweden, and the lead investigator of the study. "In our hospital it's the second most common symptom reported in the emergency department. Since there are no established ways to quickly rule out heart attack, many patients are admitted to the hospital unnecessarily, at a large cost to the patient and to society."

According to Bandstein, this is the first large study to specifically examine the use of high-sensitivity cardiac troponin T to predict heart attack risk. The impetus for the study stemmed from the hospital clinicians' observations that patients with undetectable levels of the marker who were admitted to the hospital almost never went on to have heart attacks or need any further work-up, and most went home within a day of admission.

High-sensitivity cardiac troponin T is a relatively new biomarker used in the diagnosis of heart attack and is detectable in the blood several hours before older methods of measuring troponins. Current guidelines recommend that high-sensitivity cardiac troponin T be analyzed at least three hours after the onset of chest pain, which commonly means that patients need to be admitted to the hospital for a second blood test and further evaluation. Bandstein says these study findings suggest that only one measure of the biomarker needs to be taken, and may allow some patients to be discharged directly from the emergency department.

"Despite our observations before the study, we were still surprised by the strength of our findings," Bandstein said. "Using this blood test along with an ECG, we will save about 500 to 1,000 admissions per year in our hospital alone, allowing us to use the beds for sicker patients."

Authors believe this study also has tremendous implications for the 10 million to 15 million patients in the U.S. and Europe who seek emergency treatment for chest pain each year.

During the 30 days of follow-up, 39 of the 8,907 patients were diagnosed with heart attack, and 15 of these patients showed no signs of damage on ECG. What this means, according to researchers, is that only one in 594 patients who seek medical attention for chest pain -- but have no signs of heart damage on an ECG and undetectable levels of high-sensitivity cardiac troponin -- are actually at immediate risk of heart attack. The average age of patients in the study was 47, and 53 percent were women.

Bandstein recommends that further research be done to assess the risk of heart attack among patients with slightly higher levels of high-sensitivity cardiac troponin T (5-14 ng/L). It will also be important to look at the prognosis for patients diagnosed with heart attack based on slight elevations of the biomarker, she said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American College of Cardiology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Nadia Bandstein, Rickard Ljung, Magnus Johansson, Martin J. Holzmann. Undetectable High Sensitivity Cardiac Troponin T Level in the Emergency Department and Risk of Myocardial Infarction. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 2014; DOI: 10.1016/j.jacc.2014.03.017

Cite This Page:

American College of Cardiology. "Blood test helps predict heart attack risk for patients with chest pain." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140331114459.htm>.
American College of Cardiology. (2014, March 31). Blood test helps predict heart attack risk for patients with chest pain. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140331114459.htm
American College of Cardiology. "Blood test helps predict heart attack risk for patients with chest pain." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140331114459.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A touch-free phone developed in Israel enables the mobility-impaired to operate smart phones with just a movement of the head. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) Polish scientists isolate bacteria from earthworm intestines which they say may be used in antibiotics and cancer treatments. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Existing Chemical Compounds Could Revive Failing Antibiotics, Says Danish Scientist

Existing Chemical Compounds Could Revive Failing Antibiotics, Says Danish Scientist

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A team of scientists led by Danish chemist Jorn Christensen says they have isolated two chemical compounds within an existing antipsychotic medication that could be used to help a range of failing antibiotics work against killer bacterial infections, such as Tuberculosis. Jim Drury went to meet him. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hugging It Out Could Help You Ward Off A Cold

Hugging It Out Could Help You Ward Off A Cold

Newsy (Dec. 21, 2014) Carnegie Mellon researchers found frequent hugs can help people avoid stress-related illnesses. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins