The Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn, has launched a new type of blood test that will be used to predict adverse cardiovascular events in patients with progressing coronary artery disease (CAD). The test measures blood concentrations of plasma ceramides, a class of lipids that are highly linked to cardiovascular disease processes.

The new test will help clinicians identify at-risk individuals and is available to Mayo Clinic patients and to healthcare providers worldwide through Mayo Medical Laboratories (MML). MML is the reference laboratory of Mayo Clinic, offering advanced laboratory testing and pathology services to more than 5,000 healthcare organizations in more than 60 countries. During test development, MML collaborated with cardiovascular disease specialist Zora Biosciences, Espoo, Finland.

Photo Meeusen Jeff

Jeff Meeusen, PhD, Mayo Clinic

“Through our strong collaboration with Zora Biosciences, we hope our new test will improve the evaluation of individuals at risk for cardiovascular disease,” says Jeff Meeusen, PhD, a clinical chemist and co-director of cardiovascular laboratory medicine at Mayo Clinic. “This test is for highly specialized cases—for example, patients with progressing coronary artery disease despite treatment and control of their risk factors, or for young patients with premature CAD.”

The test might also be used to determine whether treatment is necessary for individuals considered to be at intermediate risk according to the risk calculator from the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association.

Allan Jaffe, MD, Mayo Clinic.

Allan Jaffe, MD, Mayo Clinic.

“Plasma ceramides are promising biomarkers for the prediction of adverse CV events in either primary or secondary prevention,” says Allan Jaffe, MD, a Mayo Clinic cardiologist with joint appointments in the department of cardiovascular diseases and the department of laboratory medicine and pathology, and chair of the division of clinical core laboratory services. “The studies to date suggest that the signals observed presage events within the next 5-year period. Risk conferred by plasma ceramides appears to be independent of other established and novel biomarkers, and there are preliminary indications that high ceramide concentrations can be modified by common lipid-lowering therapies.”

For more information, visit AACC booth 3707 or Mayo Medical Laboratories.