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Simple blood test detects early emphysema in smokers before symptoms appear
Date:3/10/2011

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Two other independent groups of participants were then given the same group of tests -- spirometry, DLCO and the EMP blood test -- and, once again, a positive EMP finding correlated with an abnormal DLCO 95 percent of the time. Differences in the spirometry findings had no bearing on results of DLCO or EMP.

DLCO, which must be administered by a pulmonologist, is most often used to confirm a suspicion of emphysema, Dr. Crystal says. By contrast, the EMP blood test is designed to be a simple, low-cost screening tool that can pick up development of emphysema in individuals who show no signs of the disorder.

"We need a blood test that can be administered to the 20 percent of American adults who smoke as well as nonsmokers exposed to secondhand smoke -- all who may not understand their risk of developing this progressive lung disease," says Dr. Crystal.

The researchers are conducting further studies of the EMP test in larger groups of participants in order to validate these initial findings.


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Contact: John Rodgers
jdr2001@med.cornell.edu
212-821-0560
New York- Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center/Weill Cornell Medical College
Source:Eurekalert

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