Acusphere Inc. has developed an alternative to nuclear stress tests that involve injections of a substance that is able to provide views of blood flow into the heart muscle. In recent clinical trials, the company said the product – called AI-700 – showed no inferiority to non-nuclear stress exams in assessing coronary heart disease.
The new procedure, which is still in clinical trials, provides the same level of accuracy, with the added benefit of speed and no radiation. The technique used ups the reflectivity of a patient’s blood to produce ultrasonic sound making it possible to detect blood flow through the heart during a much most cost effective and quicker echocardiogram procedure, the Baltimore Sun has reported.
"Because of its ability to look at perfusion, it's very exciting," said Roxy Senior, PhD, director of echocardiology and nuclear cardiology at Northwick Park Hospital in London, and a participant in the clinical studies, the Sun reports. "There's a whole new way of looking at a patient now."
However, last week Acusphere stumbled a bit in a key clinical trial of the product which caused its stocks to drop a bit on the market. It seems a late-stage trial of a system failed to deliver on one of its three goals, meeting expectations for accuracy and specificity, but missing the hoped for mark on sensitivity, the Boston Globe reports.