Plus, get ready for high sensitivity cardiac Troponin assays in practice.
Laboratory medicine experts discovered a new lipid biomarker panel to detect heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) even before symptoms present, with "much greater certainty than standard tests for this condition," according to a January 5 press release from the American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC).
The January issue of the AACC's journal, Clinical Chemistry focuses on cardiovascular disease and features research reflecting a "growing understanding of the molecular signatures of heart disease," according to the press release, and a trend towards developing "more precise tests for the early diagnosis, monitoring, and targeted treatment."
The study in question identified three new cardiac lipid biomarkers, a cardiac lipid panel (CLP), which "significantly improved diagnostic performance" when combined with the current standard biomarker approach for diagnosing heart failure, NT-proBNP.
Continue reading AACC scientists identify new cardiac biomarker
Additional cardiac imaging often unnecessary
Last week, Mayo Clinic researchers showed that using a shared decision-making aid to involve more patients in care decisions can prevent both unnecessary hospitalization and more advanced cardiac tests for patients with low-risk chest pain.
The "Chest Pain Choice" shared decision-making aid is one of the latest evidence-based practices built on high-sensitivity troponin rule-out of acute coronary syndrome for ED patients reporting acute chest pain. After the one-hour test, an additional "one minute" discussion to educate patients about their risk and reach a shared decision can prevent further unnecessary and costly testing.
ACVP Blog has discussed decision-making for acute chest pain before, suggesting that the fact the cardiac biomarker test can safely and accurately rule-out acute coronary syndrome within one hour "challenges [the] need" for commonly-used noninvasive imaging prior to patient discharge.
Continue reading One Minute, Shared Decision-Making Aid Reduces Unnecessary Hospitalization
Sophisticated statistics in medical research can be hard to translate to layman's terms, and when they are, these common misinterpretations can be downright misleading.
1. Odds ratios don't express relative risk.
In 1999, media reports resulting from a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine wrongly suggested that black patients and women were 40 percent less likely than white patients and men, respectively, to undergo cardiac catheterization.
The study's authors had used odds ratios to describe the significance of their findings—a common practice among statistically sophisticated researchers—which showed that black patients and women were definitely less likely to be referred for invasive procedures than white patients and men, but not how much less likely.
Continue reading Two common ways you might misinterpret medical research
We've gotten a number of excellent and illuminating questions about the Alliance of Cardiovascular Professionals recently—enough to put them together as a blog. We've got news, too—we're updating our online continuing education platform!
Does ACVP offer continuing education online?
"I am a registered cardiac sonography tech. I was wondering if your organization offers any continued education courses online. If so will you please direct me to the right location... I am having such a hard time navigating through these websites. Thanks for your help!"
Yes! ACVP does offer continuing education courses online through CVCEU.ORG.
Continue reading Answering questions about our education and membership