New test for heart attack

by Medindia Content Team on  September 22, 2001 at 12:17 PM General Health News
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New test for heart attack
A new test really helps detect heart problems. A test for cardiac enzymes allows doctors to spot those people with chest pain who are really having a heart attack. Only 10 to 15 per cent of those who show up in the emergency room with chest pain are actually having a heart attack. Other causes of chest pain are gastrointestinal, kidney, rib or lung problems. But this test may take several hours and maybe a formal hospital admission in order to find out the cause.

According to Doctors in Texas, a new and more rapid way of diagnosing a heart attack is very effective and is to be implemented. They do a blood test for three cardiac enzymes - troponin 1, creatine kinase-MB, and myoglobin - which are released into the circulation by damaged heart tissue. Along with a patient history and an echocardiogram this can rule out a heart attack in just 90 minutes, compared to six to 24 hours for existing methods.

The new test was used on 1,285 emergency room patients with chest pain over a nine month period. This led to a drop of 40 per cent in critical care admissions. They were able to send 508 patients home within six hours - and many within 90 minutes. Of these, only one returned later with a heart attack, meaning the test is practically 100 per cent accurate.


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