New Test Could Determine Heart Attacks Earlier
A new type of test may help doctors determine whether a person has suffered a heart-attack as little as one hour after showing symptoms.
Preliminary research shows the test is highly accurate in showing which heart patients did and did not have heart attacks when they exhibited the symptoms. Dr. Charles Orr, a cardiologist at St. Vincent's Hospital, says the test detects changes in an enzyme known as troponin, which leaks from the heart muscle into the blood whenever heart cells are damaged. Orr says similar tests are already in use, but the type of test used in this study gives doctors results in as little as one hour.
The test is being developed by the Swiss drug company Roche. Orr says further testing is planned at Duke University Medical Center in North Carolina. It isn't known when the new test might be available for use in hospitals.