A new cheaper and more effective blood test that can make initial diagnosis easier and detect all the known inherited heart conditions is expected to hit the hospitals.
The test, which looks at 174 genes, is being used at Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust and is expected to be rolled out across the NHS. Researchers funded by the British Heart Foundation developed the blood test, which detects all known inherited heart condition genes.
‘When a genetic test reveals the precise genetic abnormality causing the condition in one member of the family, it becomes simple to test other family members.’
Current tests examine a smaller number of genes and are only able to identify specific conditions, but with this genetic testing of family members, faulty genes could be spotted, cutting the patient's chance of early death.
Royal Brompton's James Ware said that the new test would be "invaluable" and could help to make the initial diagnosis and to choose the best treatment for the affected person. He added that when a genetic test reveals the precise genetic abnormality causing the condition in one member of the family, it becomes simple to test other family members. Those who do not carry the faulty gene copy can be reassured and spared countless hospital visits.