Andrew R. Waxler, MD, FACC, discussed the Corus CAD test, which allows cardiologists to rule out multiple conditions during diagnosis for cardiovascular conditions.
Andrew R. Waxler, MD, FACC, a member of the American College of Cardiology and a practicing cardiologist with Berks Cardiologists, Ltd. sat down with MD Magazine to discuss the current state of cardiovascular health, as well as a test Waxler uses often to aid in the diagnosis of obstructive coronary artery disease (CAD), the Corus CAD test.
The test itself, while quite simple, produces complex results. It can aid physicians, most importantly, in the decision-making process. A simple blood test, it can determine whether or not a patient is at risk for obstructive coronary artery disease, and can aid the physician in determining what steps to do next. It provides physicians with diagnostic information, in the form of a score on a scale of 1 to 40, that indicates a patient’s current likelihood of having CAD. It was clinically evaluated in the PREDICT and COMPASS trials.
Andrew R. Waxler, MD, FACC, cardiologist with Berks Cardiologists, Ltd:
Well, the advances in technology certainly have played a role [in cardiovascular disease] and in particular, there is one test that I typically use called the Corus CAD blood test. This has been developed in the last few years, and it is a nice way to easily diagnose - or better said, rule out the diagnosis of - coronary artery disease.
Coronary artery disease is the number one killer of all of us, and it is something we have to worry about. A very, very common reason patients go to doctors, whether it is a primary doctor or me as a cardiologist, is chest discomfort. The first thing we want to do is rule out coronary disease.
So it is exciting that this field of genomics is now moving into cardiology because again, heart care and heart disease is the number one threat to all of us.
I first heard about the [Corus CAD] test from a colleague of mine in Philadelphia who had found the test and was using it. Like a lot of things in life, word of mouth is important, and that's one of the reasons why we're here today - to get the word out.
I was able to do my own research on it, I studied up on it, and I found there's over 20 studies, over 90 abstracts, and some pretty good scientifically rigorous data which shows that it is very effective in, most importantly, excluding coronary artery disease. Remember, chest discomfort is a common symptom - shortness of breath, other things like that - that bring patients to see a doctor. We are all worried about coronary disease, and this test is a very easy way to rule out, with a high degree of confidence, significant coronary disease.
In terms of “how does it fit in with other tests” it is a great way to have the first, and oftentimes the only test, you need. If a person has symptoms and I do this test and it comes back negative, that's like a 95%, 96%, up to 98% confidence that they don't have significant coronary disease. A very, very high negative predictive value.