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Cardiac drugs monitored through a single blood spot

A novel test can use a single spot of blood to determine how much medication is in the body, in order to monitor patients suffering with cardiovascular disease (CVD). The test has been pioneered by doctors from De Montfort University, Leicester.

Drs Sangeeta Tanna and Graham Lawson developed the test, which can identify and measure the amount of drugs present in the blood from a 5 mm diameter spot collected on a piece of card.

  Working with Professors Kamlesh Khunti and Melanie Davies from the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust (UHL) and the University of Leicester, Dr Tanna and Dr Lawson are to trail the non-invasive test to monitor patients’ adherence to beta blockers, ace inhibitors, and statins.

The authors hope that the blood spot test will highlight the issue of patient non-adherence and resulting cases of complication or death, helping to save the NHS millions in unused pills and hospital re-admissions.

Project leader, Dr Tanna, said: “A drop of patient’s blood, from a simple finger prick, will be collected on a card. The sample can be collected in a clinic, a pharmacy or even at home as there is no need for any specialist training. Once the sample is dry, the card can then be posted to a laboratory for analysis”.

Blood spot“The results will indicate the types and levels of drugs in the patient’s blood and will help doctors make an informed clinical decision concerning the levels of prescribed medication.

We are grateful to DMU’s Gunn and Carter Fellowship for funding this work.”

Professor Khunti said: “If the dried blood spot trials prove successful then this test would lead to a method for ensuring these medications are used correctly with the potential to improve care of patients at high risk or with cardiovascular diseases”.

The test is an extension of an approach already used to monitor the drug intake of newborn infants less than four weeks of age, in whom being able to monitor medication from a single spot of blood is hugely beneficial.

Published on: September 28, 2011

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  • ArrhythmiaAlliance
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  • Anticoagulation Europe
  • Atrial Fibrillation Association
 

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