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29 May 2024

King's supports trial for point-of-care machine that could diagnose heart attacks

King’s is supporting a trial to test and improve a point-of-care machine designed to measure a key biomarker used to diagnose heart attacks.

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The machine, called the Psyros™ POC system and developed by Prolight Diagnostics, aims to measure the biomarker cardiac troponin within a drop of blood directly at the site a patient is receiving care.

King’s, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Trust and Prolight Diagnostics scientists will collaborate to facilitate the trial. King’s labs will host the scientists who built the novel point-of-care machine and who will now test and improve it to measure troponin. The machine will be tested with suspected heart attack patients at Guy’s and St Thomas’s NHS Trust. The project requires this unique combination of the scientific laboratory environment in very close proximity to patients with suspected heart attacks since the prototype machine must be tested and improved using fresh blood.

This initial trial will allow the scientists to test whether its performance is good enough for a clinical trial, where it will be compared to a central laboratory analyser. Initial data with patient samples will be generated in the summer and results are expected at the end of the year.

Michael Marber, Professor of Cardiology at King’s, is the principal clinical investigator.

Stratification of patients at risk of heart attack relies on high-sensitivity troponin testing. Bringing these tests to the point-of-care allows faster decision making and earlier safe discharge of a large proportion of patients suspected of heart attack. We look forward greatly to collaborating on this project.”

Professor Michael Marber

The trial is supported by the recently awarded NIHR i4i PDA grant.

The prestigious i4i PDA grant enables us to perform the pre validation study at highly respected St Thomas’ hospital in London. Hence, we will be even better prepared to secure the optimal outcome of the full clinical performance validation study next year.”

Ulf Bladin, CEO of Prolight Diagnostics.

Cardiac troponin is a protein found in the heart muscle that plays a critical role in helping the heart contract and pump blood. When the heart muscle is damaged, cardiac troponin is released into the bloodstream. Doctors measure the levels of this protein to help diagnose heart attacks. Elevated levels of cardiac troponin can indicate heart muscle damage.

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Michael Marber

Professor of Cardiology