Oxidative Stress Markers May Predict Atrial Fibrillation Onset


Diagnostic test for predicting the onset of atrial fibrillation (AF).

Key Benefits

  • Potential diagnostic test to predict susceptibility to arrhythmia.
  • Extensive (100kb) of SCN5A promoter sequence has been identified.

Technical Summary

The invention provides oxidative stress blood markers for use in predicting the onset of atrial fibrillation (AF). The markers may also have utility in predicting complications of AF. Identification of the markers in this invention resulted from a study of human patients with persistent or permanent AF that revealed increases in certain oxidative stress markers in blood when compared to healthy controls.

Although atrial arrhythmias are less dangerous than ventricular arrhythmias, they are more common. AF affects 2.2 million Americans annually.  Approximately 70% of people with AF are over 65 yrs. of age. The lifetime risk for developing AF is approximately 25%.  If left un-treated, AF can lead to stroke and other cardiovascular complications. AF is typically diagnosed by electrocardiogram (ECG). As part of a routine physical, the diagnostic assay based on this technology could be administered to patients that are over 50 and not necessarily presenting with AF symptoms. This diagnostic test could be of high value since AF symptoms are quite variable and are often not reported in routine checkups. This diagnostic tool would identify patients at high risk for AF who could then be given an ECG and treated appropriately (e.g., medication, radiofrequency ablation, or pacing device) if AF is confirmed.

Developmental Stage

Additional studies are underway to identify mutations in the 5' and 3' (UTRs) of the SCN5A gene that may be predictive of susceptibility to cardiac arrhythmia.

Patent Information

Tech ID: 06067
Published: 4/29/2009