A Smoking Gun for Emphysema
Researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College have developed a blood test that may detect early signs of emphysema. The test measures levels of tiny endothelial microparticles that slough off from capillary walls into the bloodstream. Scientists found that these circulating fragments are higher than normal in smokers who have evidence of lung destruction but who have yet to develop symptoms of emphysema. The new blood test may be a cost-effective way to catch the disease early.