New Heart Attack Test Could Save Time, Money in ER

Researchers say a new screening technology could help doctors diagnose a heart attack in as little as one hour.

The testing approach, which is still being researched, would not only save time, but it also could cut back on expenses and emergency room crowds, experts say.

The study led by Dr. Tobias Reichlin of University Hospital Basel in Switzerland and published Monday in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine, showed that the new testing procedure would work by detecting changes in a substance in blood known as cardiac troponin.

The study showed a 77% success rate when cardiac troponin was examined as a means for determining whether or not a person with chest pain was actually experiencing a heart attack.

While the study brought in promising results, additional research is still needed.

“There’s a bit more work to be done to show, that in a prospective fashion, by employing these algorithms you have good clinical results,” Kristin Newby, professor of medicine in the Division of Cardiology at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., and author of an accompanying editorial, told Bloomberg. “This kind of work sets the stage for that and ultimately helps move things forward.”

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) and Siemens (NYSE:SI) helped support the study, as did the Swiss Heart Foundation, the Swiss National Science Foundation and the University Hospital Basel.

A full report on the study can be reviewed at

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