Journal of the American College of Cardiology study
A simple blood test can quickly identify what type of congestive heart failure (CHF) a patient has, improving diagnostic accuracy; eliminating the need for extensive diagnostic tests, such as heart muscle biopsy or exploratory surgery; and enabling the patient to be treated sooner, according to a study published in the June 7 Journal of the American College of Cardiology. After blood is drawn, the test results are ready in 15 minutes.
In the study, researchers at Loyola University Health System found significantly higher levels of the cardiac hormone, brain natriuretic peptide (BNP), in the blood of patients with one type of CHF, restrictive cardiomyopathy (RCMP), versus another type of CHF, constrictive pericarditis (CP).
"This is an important discovery because, while the symptoms are similar for both types of heart failure, the diagnosis, treatment and prognosis are very different," said lead author Dr. Fred Leya, professor of medicine/cardiology, Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine; and director, interventional cardiology and director, cardiac catheterization lab, Loyola University Health System, Maywood, Ill. "By examining the BNP level in congestive heart failure patients, we can quickly determine whether they have RCMP or CP. As a result, we can provide the appropriate treatment much sooner."
Joanne Swanson | EurekAlert!
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