A rapid and inexpensive blood test that measures levels of a hormone predicted the long-term health of patients with heart attack and chest pain, according to a study published in todays rapid access issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.
This hormone – B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) – is elevated when the heart is damaged. A fragment of this hormone called the N-terminal fragment (N-BNP), can provide a clearer picture of a patients likelihood of survival, more so than with current prognostic methods.
"In patients with acute coronary syndromes, N-BNP measurements taken early after admission identified patients at increased risk of early and late death," says senior author Kenneth Caidahl, M.D., Ph.D., a professor in the department of clinical physiology at the Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Göteborg, Sweden. "This relationship remained significant after adjusting for conventional risk markers. The most important finding was that N-BNP also predicted mortality among patients without clinical signs of left ventricular failure."
Carole Bullock | EurekAlert!
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