New Test May Show Heart Attack In Minutes Instead Of Hours

February 23, 2009

US (ChattahBox) – Researchers have developed a new test that can be used to tell if a person is having a heart attack within minutes of admission, a huge improvement from the usual test that can take several hours to give a conclusive answer.

The test may prove to offer invaluable resources in saving lives, and scientists hope to develop it further from here, to give an immediate response to those who are suffering from a heart attack.

The method was used on people with a rare condition known as Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, where a patient actually needs to have frequent heart attacks to survive.

“In this unique situation, patients actually have too much heart muscle,” Rob Gerszten, the head researcher on the project, explained.

“We perform a planned heart attack to minimize the excess heart muscle, and only in this unique scenario after the heart attack do the patients actually improve.”

The test used was able to monitor the planned attacks, allowing scientists to see the effects within minutes, rather then the usual hours it takes to confirm a heart attack with current methods.

However, because of the rarity of the condition, as well as the planned nature of the heart attacks, there is no work yet on whether or not this will work on the average person. But researchers are still hopeful.

“We’re very excited that we’ve identified new chemical changes in the blood that indicate the earliest changes after a heart attack,” Gerszten said.

“But the subjects have also benefited from this procedure, so it’s really a win-win situation.”


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