Researchers develop new technique to detect heart attack in an hour

In a major breakthrough, scientists have developed a mechanism to determine if a person has had a heart attack within an hour. This will allow physicians to treat the patients faster and more efficiently and might several lives due to early detection, say scientists.

According to the study authors, they measured cardiac troponin T levels in the blood to detect acute myocardial infarction (MI), also known as heart attack. Researchers developed a new algorithm named as high-sensitivity cardiac troponin T 1-hour algorithm to test patients with heart attacks.

“Introducing the high-sensitivity cardiac troponin T 1-hour algorithm into clinical practice would represent a profound change and it is therefore important to determine if it works in a large patient group,” said Tobias Reichlin from University Hospital Basel in Switzerland.

The study was based on 1,320 patients with acute MI. The study authors took blood samples of these patients and applied the high-sensitivity cardiac troponin T 1-hour algorithm to it. After analysing the data, researchers diagnosed 216 patients with an acute, 786 patients were diagnosed the disease while results for 318 patients were inconclusive. Detection of acute MI was effective in three out of four cases.

While explaining Reichlin said that high-sensitive cardiac troponin T baseline value changes rapidly after the first hour and accelerates the management of the patient with acute MI.

Although several techniques are there to detect a heart attack, but they take several hours to give any inference. EKG (electrocardiogram) can diagnose an acute MI by recording heart’s electrical activity. Blood test can also detect the same by determining changes in protein levels. Sometimes, doctor also takes help of coronary angiography to see inside of coronary arteries that enable doctors to detect a heart attack. However, none of the methods is as fast as this newly developed technique. Many have already started believing that this technique will save many lives in coming future.

The study appeared in Canadian Medical Association Journal.

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