Galectin-3 Test May Help Identify Patients at Highest Risk for a Worse Prognosis in Heart Failure

Test may quantify risk of re-hospitalization and death, allowing physicians to tailor the level of care to individual patient needs


April 18, 2013

April 18, 2013 — Abbott has received Conformite Europeene (CE) marking for the Architect Galectin-3 assay, a blood test to aid doctors in assessing the prognosis of patients diagnosed with chronic heart failure.

"Galectin-3 reflects the pathophysiology of heart failure and is one of the most powerful prognostic indicators in heart failure. It helps clinicians identify which patients are at high risk for worsening heart failure early in the course of their disease," said Dr. Rudolf de Boer, associate professor in cardiology at the University Medical Centre Groningen, the Netherlands. "Knowing which patients are at increased risk of hospital re-admission — independent of other variables — could provide physicians with important information to help them reach different decisions about treatment, which may benefit patient care."

Heart failure, or the inability of the heart to circulate blood effectively, is associated with poor patient outcomes, a lower quality of life, and recurrent and costly health services.  While the progress of heart failure is different for each patient, several studies demonstrate that heart failure patients with higher levels of a protein called galectin-3 present are more likely to have worse outcomes, including re-hospitalization and death.

"Despite numerous medical advances, the number of deaths among hospitalized heart failure patients remains high, exceeding that of most cancers," said Brian Blaser, executive vice president, Diagnostics Products, Abbott. "The new Architect Galectin-3 test is a helpful tool to aid physicians in their care of these critically ill patients."

The Architect Galectin-3 test is available in several European countries.

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