Blood test catches clogged arteries -

Blood test catches clogged arteries

The Centers for Disease Control says heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Unfortunately, screenings don't always catch a clogged artery before it's too late. However, a new blood test could change that.

If not for heart bypass surgery, Sonny Buevens probably wouldn't be alive today.

Dr. Daniel Fontentot, Bueven's cardiologist, says Buevens "was a walking time bomb."

Here's the problem. You know all the tests doctors run on patients before they send them to the hospital? Well, they came back normal for Buevens.

Because he didn't come to the doctor with any serious symptoms, other than feeling bad one day, Buevens could have easily been sent home.

Instead, Fontenot asked him to take a revolutionary new test. It's called the Corus CAD. It uses the patient's blood to analyze the activity of 23 genes linked to plaque buildup in a patient's heart arteries.

"I tend to use it in patients with a strong family history, those are the patients who have the highest risk," says Dr. Fontenot.

Buevens' dad died of a heart attack at 53, which made him a candidate for Corus CAD screening.  The results were alarming - despite earlier tests that gave him a clean bill of health, Buevens Corus CAD score suggested he might have blockages that could trigger a heart attack at any time.

Images from the hospital cath confirmed it. Buevens had two clogged arteries cutting off 95 percent of the blood flow to his heart.  

He was shocked, but alive thanks to quadruple bypass surgery and a new blood test that showed what traditional screenings missed.

The Corus CAD isn't ready for prime time as a stand alone screening tool yet, but with the number of saved lives growing every day because of it, that could soon change.

Copyright 2011 America Now. All rights reserved.

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