If you want a glimpse at a company putting precision medicine into practice look no further than Prometheus Labs. They make diagnostic products for personalized care in digestive disease and oncology. I use their products to diagnose and target therapy in children with inflammatory bowel diseases (crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis).
IBD offers a nice place to see the evolution of precision diagnostics:
Early biomarker testing. Initially we had ASCA and pANCA antibodies to discern crohn’s and ulcerative colitis.
Advanced biomarker testing. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at 33 Charts*
After seeing the NBC Nightly News last night, a physician urged me to write about what he saw: a story about a “simple blood test that could save women’s lives.”
Readers – and maybe especially TV viewers – beware whenever you hear a story about “a simple blood test.”
And this is a good case in point.
Brian Williams led into the story stating:
“Two of three women who die suddenly of cardiac heart disease have no previous symptoms which is all the more reason women may want to ask their doctors about a blood test that can be a lifesaver.”
Then NBC News chief medical editor Dr. Nancy Snyderman said:
“It’s not a new test, it’s not an experimental test but nonetheless it’s a test not a lot of people know about and that’s a problem because this simple blood test could save your life.”
The test in question is Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Gary Schwitzer's HealthNewsReview Blog*
It’s hard to believe that turbulence could be a good thing for the heart. Consider how the word turbulent is defined: “Characterized by conflict, disorder, or confusion; not controlled or calm.” Those traits don’t sound very heart-healthy. But when it comes to heart rhythm, it turns out that a turbulent response — to a premature beat — is better than a blunted one. The more turbulent the better.
No, you haven’t missed anything, and turbulence isn’t another of my typos. Until [recently], heart rate turbulence was an obscure phenomenon buried in the bowels of heart rhythm journals.
What Is Heart Rate Turbulence (HRT)?
When you listen to the heart of a young physically-fit patient, you are struck not just by the slowness of the heartbeat, but also by the variability of the rhythm. It isn’t perfectly regular, nor is it chaotic like atrial fibrillation (AF). Doctors describe this — in typical medical speak — as regularly irregular: The heart rate increases as the patient inhales and slows as he or she exhales. This variability occurs as a result of the heart’s responsiveness to its environment. The more robustly and quickly the heart responds, the healthier it is.
HRT seeks to measure how quickly and vigorously the heart rate reacts in response to a single premature beat from the ventricle — a premature ventricular contraction (PVC). Normally after a PVC, the heart rate speeds for a few beats, and then slows back to baseline over the next 10 beats. The healthy heart responds with a more intense rise in heart rate and a quicker return to baseline. Using simple measurements of heart rate from a standard 24-hour electrocardiogram (ECG) monitor, a propriety software program averages many of these responses and comes up with a measurement of turbulence onset and turbulence slope. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Dr John M*