A single blood test to revolutionise care—RBWH’s own contributes to study

RBWH Emergency Department consultant Assoc Prof Louise Cullen

RBWH Emergency Department consultant Assoc Prof Louise Cullen

Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital (RBWH) emergency department consultant Associate Professor Louise Cullen is part of a team of researchers who have shown a single blood test could make all the difference to busy emergency departments.

The test has the potential to more rapidly rule out acute coronary syndrome—reducing both patient stress and time spent in hospital—by identifying which patients with chest pain were at low risk of imminent heart attacks.

Assoc Prof Cullen said researchers evaluated high-sensitivity cardiac troponin I testing, which detects a protein caused by heart damage, to assess coronary risk for people with chest pain.

She said the findings suggested it was a safe way of triaging patients presenting with the common symptom.

“We found a single test would determine that almost half of patients reporting with cardiac symptoms were at low risk of heart attack or angina,” Assoc Prof Cullen said.

“These findings are significant given that chest pain is one of the most common reasons people around the world present to hospitals.

“Less than point-zero-five per cent of patients identified as at low risk went on to have a heart attack within 30 days.

“One of the biggest challenges in emergency settings is the time and resources it takes to work out which patients aren’t at significant risk.”

The test has been available in Australia for two years, and its use in risk assessment is subject to further clinical studies overseas.

The international collaboration involving the University of Queensland was tested across more than 20,000 patients worldwide, with about 2000 from Australia.

2017-12-01T03:10:06+00:0020 November 2017|
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