In the near future, Aussie researchers hope, heart disease can be detected by means of a simple urine test. It might help in the diagnosis of coronary artery disease (CAD), the condition behind most heart attack cases.
Lead researcher Karlheinze Peter says that such a test may save livesin the future by allowing earlier diagnosis and monitoring of the disease.
The most reliable test for diagnosing CAD is angiography, an invasive test in which doctors inject special dyes into the body to visualize, via X-rays, fatty plaque deposits in the arteries of the heart.
The technique is invasive, expensive, time-consuming, and may miss CAD in its earliest stages, according to background information in a research article in the Journal of Proteome Research.
Peter said that with a view to developing a faster and more convenient test, the research team collected urine samples from a group of 67 patients - 41 with CAD and 26 without - and analysed them for differences in protein content.
The researcher said that with the aid of a newly developed method, they could identify a group of 17 peptides (building blocks of proteins) that appeared to be directly associated with CAD.
According to Peter, the urine-based peptides indicated the presence of the disease with an 84 percent accuracy rate as compared to CAD cases confirmed using angiography, underscoring their potential for diagnostic screening.