AACC scientists identify new cardiac biomarker

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

One Minute, Shared Decision-Making Aid Reduces Unnecessary Hospitalization

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

Cardiovascular Risk Report: New Metabolic Syndrome Score Tracks Risk Over Time

Cost-reducing guidelines like the ACC's guidelines concerning cardiac imaging from 2012 require better profiling of what makes patients high risk for cardiovascular disease - especially when they make caveats based on "high-risk markers."

Are all high-risk markers known? What's on the horizon in markers for cardiovascular disease?

We've already discussed two new high-risk markers - a factor known as "stem cell factor" that's as predictive as cholesterol levels and a gene that interacts negatively with estrogen in women.

Here's another recent case of researchers building a better preventative mousetrap - a new test can measure the severity of metabolic syndrome and thus track and predict cardiovascular disease risk over time - from youth.

new test for teens tracks risk

Continue reading Cardiovascular Risk Report: New Metabolic Syndrome Score Tracks Risk Over Time