New blood test could be used to predict if a patient will have a heart attack

Scientists have developed a new and simple blood test that can be used to predict whether a patient is about to have a heart attack by testing for Circulating Endothelial Cells (CECs). They found that the presence of CECs in a person’s blood after a heart attack was something not seen in healthy controls.

  • As per the researchers at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) in Portland (Oregon, USA), the new test involves measuring gamma – prime fibrinogen – a component of the blood’s clotting mechanism, to find out whether a person is prone to an attack or not.
  • In other words, the gamma-prime fibrinogen test will be used in conjunction with a cholesterol test to better predict who is likely to suffer a heart attack. Thus, the doctors can identify people who are at risk and who don’t know they are at risk. 

Note: A heart attack is caused by the slow buildup of cholesterol plaque in the arteries, a process known as atherosclerosis or “hardening of the arteries.”  When the plaque builds up too much, it can rupture, causing a sudden blood clot to form over the rupture site.  This can ultimately lead to a heart attack or stroke.

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Categories: International Current Affairs 2017Science and Technology Current Affairs - 2017

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