Blood test may be wrongly diagnosing patients with heart attack

Flawed blood test widely used by NHS may be wrongly diagnosing thousands of patients with a heart attack The test measures for troponin – a protein released during a heart attack Researchers analysed thousands of patients receiving treatment in hospital They discovered that one in 20 had abnormally high troponin levels  However, the majority of those showed no signs of having had a heart attack 

By Stephen Matthews Health Editor For Mailonline

Published: 22:30 GMT, 13 March 2019 | Updated: 22:30 GMT, 13 March 2019

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Thousands of patients may be being wrongly diagnosed with heart attacks in NHS hospitals because of a flawed test.

A blood test for troponin – a protein released into the blood during a heart attack – is widely used in A&E to check whether someone has suffered a heart attack. 

Researchers analysed thousands of patients receiving treatment in hospital and found one in 20 had abnormally high troponin levels.

However, the majority of those showed no signs of having suffered a heart attack - despite their tests results suggesting they had.

Cardiologists now fear many patients are being misdiagnosed and unnecessarily undergoing invasive surgery as a result. 

Researchers analysed thousands of patients receiving treatment in hospital and found one in 20 had abnormally high troponin levels. However, the majority of those showed no signs of having suffered a heart attack - despite their tests results suggesting they had

Researchers analysed thousands of patients receiving treatment in hospital and found one in 20 had abnormally high troponin levels. However, the majority of those showed no signs of having suffered a heart attack - despite their tests results suggesting they had

NHS guidelines recommend patients undergo a procedure to widen an artery almost immediately, to boost their chances of survival.

Around 190,000 people have a heart attack, known as a myocardial infarction, in the UK each year, according to estimates.

A heart attack, different to a cardiac arrest, occurs when there is an arterial blockage to the organ. The main symptom is chest pain.

Current guidelines recommend troponin tests to help exclude or diagnose a heart attack. They are not used as the sole diagnosis method.

Researchers analysed the troponin levels of 20,000 patients undergoing blood tests at University Hospital Southampton over three months.

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