Heads Up: August 28, 2008

Direct Comparison of the Diagnostic Accuracy of Fifty Protein Biological Markers of Pulmonary Embolism for Use in the Emergency Department

Findings from this study, published electronically on Aug. 10 in Academic Emergency Medicine, showed that of 50 potential makers for pulmonary embolism, only three yielded enough diagnostic accuracy to be useful. To detect the development of venous thromboembolism in 304 consecutive patients at two academic emergency departments, the investigators followed patients via telephone and a review of their medical records for 90 days and assessed 50 markers. The three markers that showed utility, defined as an area under the curve of ≥ 0.7, were D-dimer, CRP, and myeloperoxidase .

Screening for Prostate Cancer: U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation Statement

The USPSTF has updated its 2002 recommendation on screening for prostate cancer, published in the Aug. 5, 2008 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine. The agency, after evaluating trials of screening in the literature, recommended against screening for men aged 75 years or older. The agency also concluded that for men younger than 75, the evidence to recommend screening is inconclusive.

Combining a Symptoms Index with CA 125 to Improve Detection of Ovarian Cancer

Findings in the August 1 issue of Cancer indicate that adding a symptom index to data on levels of CA 125 resulted in greater sensitivity in detecting of ovarian cancer than CA 125 alone. The composite also identified  >80% of women with early-stage disease, the investigators reported. Their prospective case-control study enrolled 254 healthy women at high risk for disease and 75 women with ovarian cancer.


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