Blood test can predict post-surgery complications

Canadian researchers report they've created a simple blood test that can predict major heart-related complications after surgery.

The VISION study, which looked at 22,000 patients, aged 45 and older, from 13 countries, found that 18 per cent of the group sustained heart damage within 30 days of non-cardiac surgery, with some 93% of cases going undetected.

Study lead, Dr. P.J. Devereaux, said that if a blood test recognizes certain levels of the protein - called high-sensitivity troponin - doctors are able intervene faster. “Research supports that basic interventions like cholesterol drugs, like statins, Aspirin and ACE inhibitors have the potential to help these patients,” he added.

“If we can identify early that a patient is having a heart injury, we can step up monitoring those patients and then get them seen by a cardiologist or internist,” Dr. Devereaux said.