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.