Hattiesburg Heart and Vascular Introduces Genetic Screening to Match Patients with More Compatible Medications
Charles Mayes, MD
Hattiesburg Heart and Vascular, a division of Wesley Medical Group, is bringing advanced screening to the Pine Belt in order to match their patients with drugs that work better with their bodies. Through genetic screening, they can determine whether prescription drugs such as Plavix®, one of the most commonly prescribed drugs after a heart procedure, are right for patients on an individual level.
Patients are normally prescribed Plavix®, or similar medications, to prevent blood clots from forming around newly placed stents in the heart. According to recent studies, approximately 30 percent of patients may carry a genetic variation that prevents them from converting Plavix® into its active form. This gene-related lack of response can be especially severe in about 3 percent of those patients, who may not derive any benefit from Plavix® and may be at risk for early clotting of these stents. Determining whether patients carry that genetic variation may reduce the risk of future complications, such as a stroke or heart attacks.
Dr. Charles Mayes, a cardiologist with Hattiesburg Heart and Vascular, notes “This type of testing will allow us to better understand whether our patients should be given certain common cardiac medications based on whether their bodies will respond to them.”
Hattiesburg Heart and Vascular’s new program is based on the genetic screening program developed at Vanderbilt Medical Center. Hospitals such as Vanderbilt Medical Center, Johns Hopkins, and Scripps Green Hospital are conducting similar testing in heart patients before prescribing the anti-platelet drug Plavix®.
“We saw that this was a successful approach at Vanderbilt and other hospitals and we wanted to bring that same level of care to our patients,” said Mayes. “Patients can be screened before they ever need Plavix® and their medical records will then be updated to reflect whether that drug is a good option for them should they need a clot-preventing medication.”
In addition to testing for patients who may not respond to Plavix®, tests are available for other commonly prescribed heart medications.
Hattiesburg Heart and Vascular and Wesley Medical Center are committed to providing superior cardiac care to the Pine Belt. The genetic screening program compliments Hattiesburg Heart and Vascular’s full line-up of cardiac services and is also available at their satellite clinics in the Collins, Tylertown and Wiggins areas. Wesley Medical Center, the only accredited Chest Pain Center in the Pine Belt, has also been recognized as a Top Performer on Key Quality Measures in the areas of Heart Attack and Heart Failure.
To learn more about the cardiologists of Hattiesburg Heart and Vascular, visit our Cardiac Services page.