New blood test may help detect a heart trouble - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

11/8/09

New blood test may help detect a heart trouble

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By Kristin Beerman | email

Edited by Jon Bush | email 

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - You're out of breath, maybe even feeling some chest pain, but are you actually having a heart attack?  There is a new blood test that detects levels of a heart muscle protein called troponin which might help detect heart trouble before it occurs.

Cardiologist Stanley Berger, M.D., explains, "When the heart has damage, this protein leaks into the blood stream. Normally there should be no protein like this, no troponin in the blood, because it should be in the heart," Dr. Berger says it's a good test, but sometimes a false positive means it needs to be repeated. 

Now, researchers in Europe are developing a new blood test for heart attacks, that they say is more sensitive and could detect heart attacks much sooner, right after chest pain starts! 

"That could be very powerful and allow us to start treatment more quickly, get patients moved if they need to be moved more quickly, the medications that save heart muscle can be started more rapidly," says Dr. Berger.

Dr. Berger adds that if the studies continue to prove more reliable, the new test could also rule out quickly who is not having a heart attack and that would, of course, put a lot of patients at ease.

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