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AlloMap blood test works as well as a heart biopsy

22 April 2010 Email This Post Email This Post Print This Post Print This Post

Syringe Blood TestAlloMap, a blood test made by XDx Inc 1), works as well as a heart biopsy when it comes to checking for signs of rejection in patients with heart transplants, according to researchers at Stanford University. The AlloMap test is also cheaper than a heart biopsy by almost 1000$.

The AlloMap test works by checking the blood to see if specific genes associated with rejection are turned on or expressed. Compared to a heart biopsy in which  a surgical cut is made to the neck or arm and a tube is insert through a vein, the test feels like a walk in the park.

“This represents a major step forward in the way we manage a patient after heart transplants because we can now safely reduce the numbers of heart biopsies,” said Dr. Hannah Valantine 2).

To see if it’s safe to reduce the number of biopsies by using the Allomap test, the researchers compared results from 600 patients who were randomly assigned to have a biopsy or the blood test and an echocardiogram. The results showed that the Allomap test worked as well as routine biopsies, with similar complications  and rates of rejection in both cases.  The Allomap test is available in U.S. and offered at 65 transplant centers.

1) XDx Inc is a molecular diagnostics company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of non-invasive gene expression testing in the areas of transplant medicine and autoimmunity
2) Dr. Hannah Valentine – Senior Associate Dean, Office of Diversity and Leadership, School of Medicine at Stanford University, Stanford,  CA

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