Parkland Health & Hospital System says a new test the hospital put into play in December can diagnose heart attacks faster and with greater precision.
The Trop T-hs assay is a more sensitive version of the Trop T-hs blood test, which checks the blood for cardiac troponin, a protein released from the heart when it’s damaged. The new version has shown the ability to rule out heart attack within the first hour in about half the patients presenting with chest pain, according to the pre-implementation tests run by Parkland. The traditional test requires three to six hours.
Heart attack presents with similar symptoms to less serious conditions like indigestion, muscle strain and anxiety, so diagnosis can be tricky and drain resources from emergency departments. Parkland says it’s among the first hospitals in the country and the first in Texas to debut the faster test.
“The improved sensitivity of the new assay enables us to rule out heart attack with a single blood draw for some patients and the improved precision assures we can characterize with a high level of accuracy very small changes in troponin level over short time intervals,” said Sandeep Das, director of acute coronary care at Parkland, in a statement.