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Molecular signature of heart attack predicts longer-term outcomes

Study results were presented Monday, March 31st, at the American College of Cardiology meeting in Washington DC.

A molecular signature seen in blood from patients who are experiencing an acute heart attack may also predict the risk of cardiovascular death over the next few years, Emory researchers have found.

The results were presented Monday at the American College of Cardiology meeting in Washington DC by cardiovascular research fellow Nima Ghasemzadeh, MD. Ghasemzadeh is working with Arshed Quyyumi, MD, director of Emory’s Clinical Cardiovascular Research Center, as well as Greg Gibson, PhD, director of the Integrative Genomics Center at Georgia Tech.

Ghasemzadeh and colleagues examined 337 patients undergoing cardiac catheterization at Emory. Just 18 percent of the patients in this group were having a heart attack. This research is a reminder that the majority of patients who undergo cardiac catheterization, and thus are suspected of experiencing a heart attack, are not actually having one at that moment.

Researchers took peripheral blood samples and analyzed them for patterns of gene expression, using microarrays to scan thousands of genes and measure which ones are turned on the blood cells and which are turned off. They used this information to generate a pattern to look for in the 31 patients in the group who would later die from cardiovascular causes.

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