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Gene expression test reduces need for invasive heart muscle biopsy
Date:4/26/2010

NEW YORK (April 23, 2010) -- Monitoring rejection in heart transplantation patients with a simple blood test co-developed by NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center physician-scientist Dr. Mario Deng in 2005 can safely reduce their need for invasive heart-muscle biopsies, a new study has found.

The multicenter study called Invasive Monitoring Attenuation by Gene Expression (IMAGE) included research by Dr. Deng. Results were presented at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation in Chicago and are published online in the New England Journal of Medicine today.

Researchers looked at an FDA-cleared gene expression test called AlloMap molecular expression testing, which measures 11 genes from molecular pathways in white blood cells associated with heart transplant rejection. They found the approach was safe, resulted in significantly fewer biopsies compared with a traditional strategy of routine biopsies, and was preferred by patients.

"The genomics revolution initiated by the completion of the Human Genome Project has made possible what was only dreamed about before -- namely the ability to improve patient care by ruling out rejection without taking an invasive heart tissue sample," says Dr. Mario Deng, director of cardiac transplantation research at Columbia University Medical Center, associate professor of medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and a cardiologist at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center.

After the first year of transplant, heart transplant patients have an average risk of 3 to 5 percent for moderate or severe rejection. Rejection of a transplanted heart can lead to heart damage and eventual failure and loss of life. Consequently, for the rest of their lives, patients must be monitored for rejection to guide their immunosuppressant drug therapy.

Investigators random
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Contact: Jennifer Homa
jeh9057@nyp.org
212-305-5587
New York- Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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