High-sensitivity cardiac troponin (hs-cTn) assays and omics technologies and their clinical utility in identifying and diagnosing patients with cardiovascular disease (CVD) will take center stage at this year’s Clinical Chemistry’s Hot Topics of 2017 (32109) session at the 69th AACC Annual Scientific Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo.

Clinical Chemistry hot topics sessions are based on highly cited articles in the journal during the past year. This year’s morning symposium takes place from 10:30 a.m. to noon on July 31 and is worth 1.5 CE hours. It features two speakers:

  • David Morrow, MD, director of the Levine Cardiac Intensive Care Unit at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston, who plans to discuss the impact of hs-cTn on the practice of cardiovascular medicine; and
  • Geoffrey Ginsburg, MD, PhD, professor of medicine at Duke University School of Medicine in Durham, North Carolina, whose topic is on the successes and challenges of omics in cardiovascular medicine. 

Clinician scientists Morrow and Ginsburg are leaders in their respective fields of study, Fred Apple, PhD, associate editor of Clinical Chemistry, told CLN Stat.

“Both have an evidence-based, scientific focus of applied research, and understand the importance of moving translational research findings into clinical practice to improve diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease,” said Apple, medical director of clinical laboratories at Hennepin County Medical Center and professor of laboratory medicine and pathology at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.

Omics and hs-cTn assays are transforming care of CVD, the leading cause of death in the U.S. As Apple explained, “hs-cTnI and hs-cTnT assays are providing earlier rule-out (at baseline) and earlier rule-in (within 3 hours) diagnostic accuracy in patients presenting to the emergency department, compared to contemporary assays.” He added, “Both hs-cTnI and hs-cTnT assays are providing strong risk stratification information regarding short- and long-term adverse outcomes, that may influence patient management and treatments.”

As hs-cTn assays move into clinical practice in the U.S., however, clinicians should not assume that large clinical databases, predominantly from Europe and Australia/New Zealand-based studies, will translate easily into U.S. practice, Apple cautioned.“U.S.-based studies need to independently validate these assays for utilization of the limit of detection for ruling out myocardial infarction and 99th percentile sex-specific upper reference limits,” he suggested.

Meanwhile, the field of CVD genomics has improved understanding of biologic mechanisms and has applied that knowledge to personalized medicine, according to Apple.

“Better understanding of molecular pathways could lead to improved therapies at an individualized level, targeted specifically to the patient’s genotype. The bottom line is to make the right diagnosis for the right patient, so the right therapy can be administered, providing the optimal outcome with everyone happy in the end,” he said.

Now in their fourth year, Clinical Chemistry hot topics sessions kicked off in 2014, spotlighting emerging cancer detection methods, oral fluid testing, and the link between vitamin D and chronic disease.

2015’s session focused on extreme PCR, the rHEALTH tricorder, and ambient ionization and the impact of these technologies on personalized medicine. And in 2016, the symposium explored circulating tumor cells, cell-free DNA, and microRNA in diagnosing cancer.

“Hot topics is a great idea and follows along other national organizations in providing cutting-edge science, presented by clinicians and laboratory scientists who understand the practice of laboratory medicine,” Apple said.

Register today for the 69th AACC Annual Scientific Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo in San Diego July 30–Aug. 3 to participate in this yearly tradition of exploring hot topics in laboratory medicine.