Heart Attack or Not? New Test Might Tell


Dr. Christopher Cannon of the Cardiovascular Division of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston says that the tool sounds promising, but adds that the methods for using the information provided by a more sensitive test for troponin need to be tested and proven before they become a standard approach.

"It would help on the efficiency," Cannon says. "But this rule needs to be validated and refined."

There are also several heart conditions that can be dangerous but are not a heart attack that should be looked for in the emergency department.

Dr. Clyde Yancy, chief of cardiology at Northwestern University in Chicago, says that while a new tool to distinguish one case of chest pain from another would be helpful, "We should maintain an approach that incorporates useful tools in our diagnostic armamentarium but not allow this or any other diagnostic tool to trump the needed clinical judgment in the patient that is acutely ill."

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