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New Blood Test a Safer Alternative to Heart Biopsy

Associate Attorney
Grewal Law, PLLC
(855) 610-0503

A recent study from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute a division of the National Institute of Health found that a blood test could prevent an acute heart transplant rejection.  A heart transplant is an operation in which a diseased, failing heart is replaced with a healthier donor heart.  Approximately 85 to 90 percent of heart transplant patients are living one year after the surgery.  However, 50-80 percent of people experience at least one rejection episode, with acute rejection likely to occur within the first three to six month.

Detecting acute rejection in a timely manner can save lives.  Medical providers utilized invasive and risky tissue biopsy to determine rejections.  But a recent study of 200 heart transplant recipients, a new blood test, offers better and earlier detection of acute rejections.  The donor-derived cell-free DNA test, tracks DNA markers from organ donor that appear in the blood of the transplant recipient.  Researchers found that the blood test performed better in their study than tissue biopsy, as it detected higher amounts of rejection markers and earlier signs of rejection.  The cell-free DNA test may be able to detect rejection as early as 28 days after the transplantation and at least three months before a heart tissue biopsy.

One Comment

  1. Gravatar for Robert Goodman
    Robert Goodman

    If true, a real game changer for future heart transplant recipients. Am interested in learning more about the studies, the researchers and what entity stands behind it along with future plans.

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