Urine test to identify heart disease

Researchers from the University of Glasgow have developed a urine test which could be
used to identify people with heart disease before symptoms appear.

Professor Anna Dominiczak and her team have found certain proteins can be detected in urine samples from people suffering coronary heart disease. It is hoped this "signature" pattern will be usable in a test to allow diagnosis in the early stages of heart disease.

Professor Dominiczak said earlier intervention could prevent the need for treatments such as major surgery.

She said: "The idea is to pick up disease before symptoms appear. Modern medicine interferes quite late, but I think the future of cardiovascular medicine is in prevention.

The study, which was published in the February issue of the journal of Molecular and Cellular Proteomics, proved the concept worked, but further research will have to be undertaken before it could be used in a clinical setting.

Professor Dominiczak, Director of the BHF Glasgow Cardiovascular Research Centre, added: "We already have lots of tests for advanced heart disease, such as coronary angiography, so to be better is very difficult, but it is a new way to think about complex medical problems.

"It is a promising technology that could be applied in various niche areas of medicine. It will be applicable to other conditions and there are already ongoing studies in other areas, such as cancer."

First published: 25 February 2008

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