A small study has uncovered 17 proteins that may eventually become the basis of a urine-based test to distinguish people with coronary artery disease from those who don't.
The preliminary findings were described in a study published in January in the Journal of Proteome Research and presented at a poster at last week's American Heart Association's Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology Annual conference in Washington.
The team of researchers first set out to differentiate proteins associated with coronary artery disease in blood and urine. While "significant discriminatory power" was achieved in urine, it was not for blood, they said in the JPR study. Based on that, they performed a urine proteomic analysis and identified 17 collagen fragments, known to be present on the surface of atherosclerotic plaques.
The set of proteins had a sensitivity of 81 percent, specificity of 92 percent, and accuracy of 84 percent.
Larger studies are needed to confirm the findings of the study, but "our data suggests that proteome analysis shows great promise," Constantin von zur Muehlen, the lead author on the study and a cardiology professor at the University Hospital Freiburg's cardiology department in Germany, said in a statement last week.