WASHINGTON (AP) Government regulators on Wednesday cleared the way for broader use of a blood test that can spare heart transplant patients the ordeal of repeated biopsies to check if their bodies are rejecting the new organ.
The Food and Drug Administration said the test, called AlloMap, is an example of how the science of genetics is changing the practice of medicine.
The test analyzes certain kinds of genetic information contained in white blood cells. These are the cells that help the body fight off infections but can also turn against a donated organ with devastating effects. After a patient's blood sample is checked in the lab, it is assigned a score that tells doctors what the odds are that the body is rejecting a transplanted heart.