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March 14, 2011

US Researchers Develop Early Emphysema Blood Test

Researchers at New York-Presbyterian Hospital's Weill Cornell Medical Center, US, have developed a blood test which can detect emphysema well before symptoms occur. The test measures the levels of endothelial microparticles, which are particles shed by capillaries that surround alveoli

By cms admin

Researchers at New York-Presbyterian Hospital’s Weill Cornell Medical Center, US, have developed a blood test which can detect emphysema well before symptoms occur.

The test measures the levels of endothelial microparticles, which are particles shed by capillaries that surround alveoli (air sacs) in lungs.

In a study, researchers enrolled three groups of people — healthy non-smokers, healthy smokers, and smokers with early evidence of lung destruction — and conducted a DLCO test.

The researchers found a 95% positive correlation between elevated EMPs in the blood and an abnormal DLCO test result, which means that the test detected nearly all cases of early emphysema patients.

According to researchers, as most cases of emphysema are caused by smoking, the test can warn smokers about impending development of the disease.

Emphysema and chronic bronchitis are the twin disorders that constitute towards chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, the fourth leading cause of death in the US.

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