#happylife: New ‘PULS’ cardiac test detects heart attack risk early

SPOKANE, Wash. — A test that tells you if you’re at risk for a heart attack in the next five years is now available at the T-Creek Research and Diagnostics Lab here in Spokane.

The Protein Unstable Lesion Signature cardiac test, or ‘PULS’ cardiac test, was developed by a group of doctors after 20 years of research.

The lead doctor who developed this test is Dr. Doug Harrington.

“After about 30 heart transplants as a resident in surgery, i realized that most of the disease we were treating was preventable. And so i shifted focus to start developing technology to try to identify people before they really get sick.”

The test looks at nine proteins in your body that signal your immune system to repair damage in the arteries.

The PULS test will be able to spot it out before it becomes fatal.

“The majority of people who have a heart attack have normal cholesterol levels in their blood. And so they’re walking around essentially with a false sense of security.”

Harrington is based out of California and helped bring the test to the Northwest to benefit the Native American population.

“When they became settled on reservations, they started getting commissaries that gave them white flour, white sugar, Crisco, all these things. And so they end up with disease about 15 years earlier than the Caucasian population.”

He says results that are in the red aren’t a death sentence, but like a check engine light for your body.

One patient who has taken the test says he’s not using it to get an absolute result about his health.

“Just more of a road map of where I’m at. I have a general idea of where I’m at because I have had some testing in the last six months. Just, you know, regular cholesterol tests and whatever, which have been real positive. So it’s nice to know if I’m on the right path.”

The lab said the PULS test is covered by most insurances, Medicaid and Medicare.

They’re also in the process of getting a medical test cite certification to broaden their services.

And in the future, they want to build a medical center by the Spokane Tribal Casino in Airway Heights.