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.

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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.

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A new cardiac imaging paradigm for acute chest pain?

In the "high-sensitivity cardiac troponin era," will the role of cardiac imaging in the ED change?

As high-sensitivity cardiac troponin (hs-cTn) assays become more and more common, cardiac imaging becomes less necessary for ruling out acute myocardial infarction (AMI) in ED patients with acute chest pain, but might be useful to prevent unnecessary or aggressive treatments write experts in July's volume of the American Heart Journal.

ACVP blog has covered the groundbreaking research on the high-sensitivity cardiac troponin tests since early last year, when we reported a new strategy that could rule out acute myocardial infarction within one hour, and rule it in with 75 percent accuracy. In June, two studies publishes in JAMA Cardiology lent further support to one-hour algorithms.

The speed and safe, accurate "rule out" of acute myocardial infarction through these cardiac biomarker tests "challenges [the] need" for noninvasive imaging prior to patient discharge when troponin values are normal, write the authors of the American Heart Journal article.

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Is heart failure over-diagnosed? and other stories

Is heart failure over-diagnosed?

A common problem in elderly men, obstructive uropathy, can look a lot like heart failure.

When pulmonary edema is present, heart failure is often the "scapegoat" says Melissa Walton-Shirley, MD in a commentary on Medscape. Approaching heart failure with "an air of skepticism" might help.

I've seen a handful of obstructive uropathy cases masquerading as heart failure in elderly men in recent years. I shudder to think how many times I've missed it. I suspect that it's not just men who suffer. Some of our female patients with "diastolic dysfunction" and overflow incontinence seem to suffer from backpressure that finds its way into the pulmonary vasculature.

Melissa Walton-Shirley, MD
Read more on Medscape.

NYU Langone tests new transcatheter device.

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