New York, Jan 10 (IANS) Currently, there is no predictive test for patients who exhibit symptoms but are yet to experience a heart attack.
This could change soon.
Researchers at the Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) in California, US, have invented a new ‘fluid biopsy’ technique that could identify patients at high risk of a heart attack by identifying specific cells as markers in the bloodstream.
The technique works by identifying circulating endothelial cells (CECs) and has been successful in distinguishing patients undergoing treatment for a recent heart attack with a healthy control group.
Currently, there is no predictive test for a heart attack – at least not of satisfying accuracy.
“The goal of this research was to establish that these circulating endothelial cells can be detected reliably in patients following a heart attack and do not exist in healthy control group – which we have achieved,” said Peter Kuhn, associate professor and lead author.
The results were so significant relative to the healthy control group that the obvious next step is to assess the usefulness of the test in identifying patients during the early stages of a heart attack, said the study published in the journal Physical Biology.
The researchers believe the technique can now be tested on patients who exhibit symptoms but are yet to experience a heart attack.
Endothelial cells, which line the walls of the arteries, have been strongly linked to ongoing heart attacks when circulating in the bloodstream.