Blood test for specific metabolites could reveal blocked arteries

February 01, 2019

DURHAM, N.C. -- A Duke Health pilot project suggests that in the near future, a blood test could show whether arteries carrying blood to the heart are narrow or blocked, a risk factor for heart disease.

According to the 40-person study published in the journal PLOS ONE, emergency patients who underwent a treadmill stress test and showed signs of decreased blood flow to the heart also had changes in five metabolites in their blood within two hours.

All study subjects had gone to the emergency department with symptoms of coronary disease, such as chest, jaw and shoulder pain.

The researchers hope a larger study could confirm that acute changes in these fatty acid and amino acid metabolites, which are energy sources for cells, could be an early biological indicator of restricted blood flow that could complement or even replace current tests.

"Cardiologists do a stress test to determine who's at risk for having heart disease," said lead author Alexander T. Limkakeng Jr., M.D., lead author of the study and an associate professor of emergency medicine at Duke. "It guides them on whether they need a more invasive study like a catheterization. Augmenting the imaging of a stress test with metabolite biomarkers could make that process more accurate or more efficient."

Previous research has suggested that metabolites could indicate heart disease, but scientists have yet to uncover the specific metabolomic signature to look for. For the Duke study, scientists evaluated the presence of more than 60 chemicals or compounds in the blood to identify the five specific metabolites that appeared to change in patients with abnormal cardiac stress tests.

The researchers hope to begin a larger study to further test this approach to detecting coronary artery disease, they said.
-end-
In addition to Limkakeng, study authors include Ricardo Henao, Deepak Voora, Thomas O'Connell, Michelle Griffin, Ephraim L. Tsalik, Svati Shah, Chris Woods and Geoffrey Ginsburg.

The research was supported by a grant from the ENhanced Academics in a Basic Laboratory Environment (ENABLE) program of the Duke Private Diagnostic Clinics and Duke University. Full disclosures and potential conflicts of interest are disclosed in the manuscript.

The paper will be available online after the embargo has lifted: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0211762

Duke University Medical Center

Related Heart Disease Articles from Brightsurf:

Cellular pathway of genetic heart disease similar to neurodegenerative disease
Research on a genetic heart disease has uncovered a new and unexpected mechanism for heart failure.

Mechanism linking gum disease to heart disease, other inflammatory conditions discovered
The link between periodontal (gum) disease and other inflammatory conditions such as heart disease and diabetes has long been established, but the mechanism behind that association has, until now, remained a mystery.

New 'atlas' of human heart cells first step toward precision treatments for heart disease
Scientists have for the first time documented all of the different cell types and genes expressed in the healthy human heart, in research published in the journal Nature.

With a heavy heart: How men and women develop heart disease differently
A new study by researchers from McGill University has uncovered that minerals causing aortic heart valve blockage in men and women are different, a discovery that could change how heart disease is diagnosed and treated.

Heart-healthy diets are naturally low in dietary cholesterol and can help to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke
Eating a heart-healthy dietary pattern rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, poultry, fish, legumes, vegetable oils and nuts, which is also limits salt, red and processed meats, refined-carbohydrates and added sugars, is relatively low in dietary cholesterol and supports healthy levels of artery-clogging LDL cholesterol.

Pacemakers can improve heart function in patients with chemotherapy-induced heart disease
Research has shown that treating chemotherapy-induced cardiomyopathy with commercially available cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) delivered through a surgically implanted defibrillator or pacemaker can significantly improve patient outcomes.

Arsenic in drinking water may change heart structure raising risk of heart disease
Drinking water that is contaminated with arsenic may lead to thickening of the heart's main pumping chamber in young adults, according to a new study by researchers at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.

New health calculator can help predict heart disease risk, estimate heart age
A new online health calculator can help people determine their risk of heart disease, as well as their heart age, accounting for sociodemographic factors such as ethnicity, sense of belonging and education, as well as health status and lifestyle behaviors.

Wide variation in rate of death between VA hospitals for patients with heart disease, heart failure
Death rates for veterans with ischemic heart disease and chronic heart failure varied widely across the Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system from 2010 to 2014, which could suggest differences in the quality of cardiovascular health care provided by VA medical centers.

Heart failure: The Alzheimer's disease of the heart?
Similar to how protein clumps build up in the brain in people with some neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, protein clumps appear to accumulate in the diseased hearts of mice and people with heart failure, according to a team led by Johns Hopkins University researchers.

Read More: Heart Disease News and Heart Disease Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.