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New markers for heart attacks

A new study identifies markers in the blood of heart attack patients that distinguishes them from patients suffering chest pain with other causes.

The researchers hope that the results will lead to new diagnostic tests for heart attacks.

The team was looking for new markers in the blood that form a unique fingerprint for a heart attack and focused on metabolites, which are produced during biochemical processes within our bodies.

They collected blood samples from 146 patients who presented at hospital with chest pain and 84 healthy volunteers. Of the 146 chest pain patients, 85 were later confirmed to have suffered a heart attack and the remainder had chest pain from other causes.

On analysing the samples, the researchers found an array of metabolites that were present in different amounts, and the differences were significant enough that they could successfully distinguish between the samples from heart attack patients, those with non-heart attack-related chest pain and the healthy volunteers.

Three metabolites showed particular promise as diagnostic markers.

The researchers plan to conduct further work on why and how these biomarkers are involved in heart attacks.

Image credit | iStosk

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