FDA OKs Blood Test For Heart Transplant Rejection

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Government regulators have cleared the way for broader use of a blood test that can help heart transplant patients.

The test spares recipients the ordeal of repeated biopsies to check if their bodies are rejecting the new organ.

The FDA says 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. Those are the cells that help the body fight off infections, but which can also turn against a donated organ with devastating effects.

The AlloMap test had been previously approved in 2005 under federal laws that govern clinical labs. FDA clearance should speed its adoption elsewhere.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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