Harrington and team research a test to predict heart attacks
March 22, 2012
Doctors are one step closer to a simple test that could predict whether a patient is about to have a heart attack _ by using a blood sample to detect cells that have sloughed off of damaged blood vessel walls.
The finding, published Wednesday in the journal Science Translational Medicine, could potentially address "the greatest unmet need" facing cardiologists, said lead author Dr. Eric Topol, a cardiologist at the Scripps Translational Science Institute in San Diego. Although physicians can easily detect a heart attack that's already under way, every year tens of thousands of patients walk away from the doctor's office after having passed a stress test, only to suffer a devastating heart attack within a few weeks.
Topol called the phenomenon the "Tim Russert syndrome," referring to the newsman who died of a heart attack in 2008, weeks after undergoing a stress test with apparently normal results.
To read more, click here (PennLive).