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How To Find A Heart Attack Long Before It Happens


The troponin proteins—cardiac troponin I and T—are the best biomarkers we have for determining whether there’s been damage to the heart. As many as 80% of patients who have had a heart attack will show an elevated level of cardiac troponin I in their blood within two to three hours of visiting the emergency room.

But while troponin—which is released when heart cells are damaged or die—is the most sensitive and specific marker we have for serious cardiac injury, could it also offer an early warning sign of such injury?

“Today, most of the technologies that can see proteins in blood can see disease, but they can’t see health,” says Kevin Hrusovsky, CEO and executive chairman of Quanterix, which makes an über-sensitive protein-detection machine called Simoa. “And that continuum is very important because if we can see any migration from baseline, and be able to detect things very early, we can see any trend away from health.”

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