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Abnormal cells may signal hidden heart risk

Damage to blood vessel lining shows up in blood tests

By
2:29pm, March 21, 2012

Many people who go to a hospital with chest pain don’t end up having a heart attack. A new study that identifies certain abnormal cells in patients’ blood might lead to screening tests to spot those who remain at risk, despite passing standard diagnostic tests.

In people experiencing the opening throes of a heart attack, cells from the inner lining of blood vessels — called endothelial cells — get set adrift in the bloodstream, researchers report in the March 21 Science Translational Medicine. Heart attack patients have higher numbers of these endothelial c

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