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Soon, diagnose heart attacks using new blood test

September 21, 2011 - Washington

A team at the Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, led by the Indian-origin scientist, has suggested that a possible new Blood test based on the presence of a Protein, released to the blood following a Heart attack, could help diagnose an attack.

Senior author Sakthivel Sadayappan, PhD., and his colleagues report that a large Protein, known as cardiac myosin binding protein-C (cMyBP-C), stabilizes heart muscle structure and regulates cardiac function.

During a Heart attack, a coronary artery is blocked, and heart muscle cells begin to die due to lack of blood flow and oxygen. As heart cells die, cMyPB-C breaks into fragments and is released into the blood.

"This potentially could become the basis for a new test, used in conjunction with other Blood tests, to help diagnose heart attacks," said Sadayappan.

"A lot of additional studies will be necessary to establish cMyBP-C as a true biomarker for heart attacks," he added.

The Loyola study is the first to find that cMyBP-C is associated with heart attacks. The Protein may be readily detectable in a Blood test because of its large molecular size and relatively high concentration in the blood.

Between 60 and 70 per cent of all patients who complain of chest pain don't have heart attacks. Many of them are hospitalized until a Heart attack is ruled out.

An electrocardiogram can diagnose major heart attacks but not minor ones. Only one Protein, now used in Blood tests, called cardiac troponin-I, is specific to the heart.

But it takes at least four to six hours for this Protein to show up in the blood following a Heart attack.

"Future studies would determine the time course of release, peak concentrations and half life in the circulatory system," said Sadayappan.

The finding is reported in the Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology.


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