Breakthrough Blood Test Predicts Need for ICDs


By: Mari Gold

A new blood test can predict which patients with heart failure are likely to need an internal implantable defibrillator that can treat abnormal heartbeat and prevent sudden death.

Heart failure, a condition where the heart does not pump blood adequately, is the single most common cause of admission to hospitals in the U.S and affects roughly  five million Americans.  Based on a clinical trial presented at the recent meeting of the European Society of Cardiology, the new blood test, PulsePredic, can predict which patients will need a defibrillator in the next year.  The test works by identifying changes in the gene message known to be involved in sudden death.

Professor Samuel Dudley, professor of medicine and physiology at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine, presented the findings of the trial and called the test “Amazing stuff” and “the first test of its kind.” He added, “It has the promise to change dramatically the way we direct treatments to patients at risk for sudden death.”

Trial participants included 180 adults including 135 individuals with heart failure and 45 patients without heart failure as controls.  Those with congenital heart disease, infections, and inflammatory conditions were excluded.




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