A researcher has found that a simple blood test can predict a person’s risk for sudden cardiac death, enabling physicians to more quickly and accurately assess a patient’s need for an implantable cardiac defibrillator (ICD).
This is the first test of its kind. The primary prevention model for at-risk patients in the U.S. is to implant an ICD before a cardiac event happens. While it’s better to be safe, this has led to widespread overuse of ICDs throughout the U.S. and abroad.
Currently, risk assessments are determined by measuring the fraction of blood ejected from the heart in any one heartbeat, the ejection fraction. When the ejection fraction falls below 35 percent, a patient may benefit from an ICD. As a result, sixty percent of ICD recipients may not even need one.
If the next trial proves what we believe to be true, this blood test will serve as a much more appropriate and cost-effective tool to measure risk.
Sudden cardiac death is an unexpected death caused by loss of heart function, or sudden cardiac arrest.Resource: OnFitness Magazine