Twenty minutes may be all it takes to identify a case of acetaminophen (APAP) poisoning, according to the developers of a new test for the condition that, they say, could streamline treatment for patients with liver failure related to the drug.
In a recent study, the 20-minute test (AcetaSTAT, Acetaminophen Toxicity Diagnostics) was performed as well as the current gold standard, high-performance liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection (HPLC-EC), to detect APAP toxicity. Both techniques look for an adduct biomarker produced after exposure to excessive amounts of the painkiller, according to the researchers.
“AcetaSTAT rapid test results were consistent with the HPLC-EC assay and discriminated between APAP and non-APAP [acute liver failure],” the researchers reported (Table). The test had a sensitivity of 97%, a specificity of 83%, a positive predictive value of 88% and a negative predictive value of 96%.
“A rapid test for APAP protein adducts can help identify APAP liver injury and can guide treatment decisions in the clinical management of” acute liver failure, they concluded.
The researchers presented their findings at the 2015 annual meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (abstract 1914).