Pioneering diagnostics

Acute Care & Cardiovascular Emergencies

When every minute counts, emergency tests accelerate diagnosis and getting the right care to patients.
 

Overflowing emergency departments and the severity of cardiovascular diseases mean that high-performance tools are essential in order to screen patients and send them as quickly as possible to the most appropriate facility: intensive care, hospital admissions, or discharge.

The healthcare challenge

  • Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death worldwide.
    • 17.3 million people died of cardiovascular disease in 2008.
  • It has a major impact not only on the lifespan and quality of life of the individuals affected, but also on healthcare spending and the economies of these countries.

The role of in vitro diagnostics

In emergency departments, every minute counts. Doctors must quickly assess the severity of a disease and ensure that patients receive the most appropriate care without delay. To this end, in vitro diagnostic tests provide reliable and rapid assistance.

  • The bioMérieux range for emergency departments includes a panel of tests for the early diagnosis of:
  • This panel is suitable for use on our VIDAS® instrument and offers a simple, accurate and reliable solution to facilitate efficient diagnosis and management of patients in emergency departments.

Thromboembolism

This is a little known and underestimated disease that affects 4 million people each year in developed countries.

  • The two primary forms of thromboembolism are venous thrombosis, or phlebitis, and pulmonary embolism. In 70% of cases, a pulmonary embolism is caused by a blood clot that migrates from the lower limbs (venous thrombosis) towards the lungs.
    • This is a life-threatening emergency that presents non-specific clinical signs (chest pain, respiratory trouble, etc.), making diagnosis difficult.

Given the severity of this disease, the quality of in vitro diagnostic tests is crucial.

  • For instance, a negative result from the VIDAS® D-Dimer Exclusion™ test – which detects even tiny parts of a clot and is considered by experts to be the test of reference – enables a diagnosis of venous thrombosis or pulmonary embolism to be excluded with 99.9% certainty. Time-consuming and costly investigations (such as CT and Doppler scans) and unnecessary anticoagulant therapy can thus be avoided.

Acute coronary syndrome

Acute coronary syndrome (ACS) is caused by the blockage of a coronary artery by atheromatous plaque, obstructing the essential flow of blood to the cardiac muscle. It includes myocardial infarction and unstable angina.

  • It is defined by intense pain that starts in the chest and spreads gradually to the arms and jaw, with a drop in blood pressure, accompanied by sweating, nausea, shortness of breath, etc.
  • Speed of clinical diagnosis is key to ensuring that the patient receives care as quickly as possible after arrival in the emergency department. In order to ensure the best possible prognosis, it is recommended that patients receive treatment within an hour: the rapid measurement of cardiac markers thus plays an essential role in patients' survival.
  • Of all the tests carried out, two are determining factors: the blood troponin test and the electrocardiogram. An echocardiogram and a cardiac angioscintigraphy complete the series of tests performed.
    • Complementary in vitro diagnostic tests measure certain substances released into the blood when cardiac cells are destroyed, such as troponin, which is considered to be the best biological marker for the diagnosis of myocardial infarction since it is specific to the heart. The combination of various cardiac markers and changes to their respective concentrations make it possible to confirm the diagnosis.
    • bioMérieux offers tests to measure troponin levels and two complementary markers (myoglobin and CK-MB).

Cardiac failure

23 million people suffer from heart failure, which is a progressively debilitating disease affecting the elderly. It occurs after the heart has been weakened by other cardiac pathologies, such as myocardial infarction.

  • Heart failure develops and becomes chronic, characterized by acute and life-threatening episodes as the disease progresses. The clinical symptoms are diverse and often non-specific (difficulty breathing, fatigue, cough).
  • A clinical examination is the first step in the diagnostic process, supplemented by tests such as a pulmonary X-ray and an echocardiogram.
  • In vitro diagnostic tests complete the process. bioMérieux offers:
    • a specific test for the diagnosis of acute and chronic heart failure: VIDAS® NT-proBNP. A negative result enables a diagnosis of acute heart failure to be excluded and serves as a powerful additional tool for doctors in the diagnosis and management of patients suffering acute respiratory difficulty / distress.
    • The innovative VIDAS® Galectin-3 test, which reveals the underlying fibrotic process that is responsible for heart failure with a poor prognosis. Such cases require more aggressive treatment.