A non-invasive blood test is now available that may help physicians exclude coronary artery disease risk in certain patients. Results from a clinical trial investigating an innovative assessment test provided information that can help physicians decide which patients do not need additional diagnostic testing for obstructive coronary artery disease (CAD). CAD is a heart condition that can cause a narrowing or blockage of the coronary arteries (vessels to the heart that supply the heart with blood, oxygen, and nutrients), reducing blood flow to the heart muscle. Dr. Robert St. Amant, clinical lipidologist with Baton Rouge General Physicians, led the IMPACT-PCP trial at Baton Rouge General’s Heart and Vascular Tower, which was a prospective, multi-center study examining the clinical impact of the Corus® CAD test.
This simple blood test is done in the physician office and, in combination with an assessment of other risk factors, may help clinicians reliably exclude the diagnosis of obstructive CAD early in the diagnostic pathway, so they may look to other causes for common patient symptoms. Among trial participants with low scores on the test (≤15), 60% had decreased testing, and at 30 days and six months, no major adverse cardiovascular events related to CAD were observed for any low-scoring patient who had not been referred for further testing. The study examined the test’s impact in patients with no history of obstructive coronary artery disease who presented chest pain or anginal-equivalent symptoms.
“As a clinician, it is exciting to have an additional tool to help in evaluating patients who are stable but may have experienced chest pain and other symptoms suggestive of CAD,” said Dr. St. Amant. “Identifying patients with a low risk of obstructive CAD early in the diagnostic process offers a valuable benefit for patients because it allows us to avoid conducting invasive diagnostic procedures.”
Importantly, the test also accounts for key biological differences between men and women — enhancing diagnosis of heart disease in women, which can be trickier because they often present with more subtle, atypical, nonspecific symptoms than men.
After practicing family medicine for 33 years in the Baton Rouge community, Dr. St. Amant is now solely dedicated to treating patients with difficult cholesterol problems and addressing health risks that lead to heart attacks and strokes.
For more information on clinical trials at Baton Rouge General visit http://www.brgeneral.org/services/clinical-trials.