Researchers have conducted a study indicating that a new test could help doctors diagnose a heart attack within one hour.
Researchers from the University Hospital Basel in Switzerland led the study. It involved development of tests to determine the levels of troponin, a protein in the blood that indicates a heart attack.
Using data from the new tests for troponin, doctors were able to determine whether a heart attack had occurred in 77 percent of patients within an hour of arriving at the hospital with chest pain, much more quickly than current tests.
Scientists say more studies are needed before the test is widely used, but the new approach could ultimately save time and resources, and speed up life-saving treatment in hospital emergency rooms.
The study is published in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine.