A quick blood test can identify liver disease before symptoms appear is being developed by a team of British scientists from the University College London in the UK and the University of Massachusetts have designed and verified a new robust blood test that can detect liver damage within 45 minutes and diagnose the illness ten even 20 years before symptoms appear. They hope it will be available in the next five to ten years.
The study explained a new procedure to identify liver fibrosis from a blood test in 30-45 minutes. Liver fibrosis is commonly known as the first stage of liver damage which causes liver disease if left unchecked
The team developed a sensor that uses polymers – large molecules – covered with fluorescent dyes that secure blood proteins. Fluorescent dyes change in brightness and color and produce a significant pattern of fluorescence. The resulted pattern depends on the protein composition of the blood sample.
They conducted a test on the sensor in which they compare results from 65 people’s small blood samples by forming three balanced groups of healthy patients and others with early-stage and late-stage fibrosis. The results found that the sensor could detect protein levels’ pattern in the blood serum of people among the three groups. This test could mark a great need for early detection of liver-related disease.
‘We hope that our new test could be used on a routine basis in GP surgeries and hospital clinics to screen people who face an elevated risk of liver disease, but don’t yet show signs of liver damage to identify those with serious fibrosis, so that they can access treatment before it’s too late,” said Professor William Rosenberg, from UCL.
Sarah Buscaino is a seasoned journalist with 10 years experience as a reporter and investigative journalist. While studying journalism in Toronto, Sarah got her break as an intern at CITY TV. As a contributor to Island Daily Tribune, Sara covers municipal and provincial politics.