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Catheter – yes or no? Diagnostic test for heart patients

2016 saw the market launch of a new test from Roche Diagnostics: Elecsys GDF-15. Based on research by Prof. Kai C. Wollert at the Hannover Medical School (MHH) it enables better risk evaluation of patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS). The serum level of GDF-15 can be measured with the test in about 20 minutes. The prognostic significance of this parameter has been confirmed in several studies, independently from established markers such as patient age and ECG. The test therefore offers the physician an additional valuable indicator when deciding on the course of treatment. ‘This can make a big difference for patients,’ says Dr Ralf Cordes, Technology Manager at Ascenion. The researchers have shown that ACS patients with significantly raised GDF-15 levels are more likely to benefit from examination by cardiac catheterization. The procedure can significantly reduce their risk of reinfarction and mortality. The team at Ascenion has been accompanying Prof. Wollert’s project for many years, and negotiated the licensing agreement with Roche Diagnostics.