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Cardiovascular Disease Genetic Test

Last updated Jan. 17, 2016


What are other Names for this Test? (Equivalent Terms)

  • AGT Genetic Test
  • Angiotensinogen Genetic Test
  • CVD Genetic Test

What is the Cardiovascular Disease Genetic Test? (Background Information)

  • Individuals may be predisposed to cardiovascular disease. A certain area on the genetic blueprint may be analyzed to determine if this is the case
  • Cardiovascular disease is complex and affected by many factors. These include lifestyle factors, such as diet, exercise, and stress levels. However, some factors may also be hereditary
  • Hereditary factors that predispose an individual to cardiovascular disease include levels of a protein called angiotensin (the active form of angiotensinogen). Angiotensin increases blood pressure by constricting the blood vessels. The prefix “angio-“ means vessel, and “tense” means pressure
  • The instructions for angiotensinogen are given on the angiotensinogen gene. Individuals who have versions of the gene that are hyperactive exhibit increased levels or activity of angiotensin. These individuals are at an increased risk for cardiovascular disease
  • Cardiovascular disease is dangerous because it may lead to high blood pressure and a heart attack. The treatment often includes lipid-lowering drugs, blood pressure drugs, and drugs to control diabetes
  • The Cardiovascular Disease Genetic Test identifies the version of the angiotensin gene an individual possesses in order to determine his/her risk for cardiovascular disease

What are the Clinical Indications for performing the Cardiovascular Disease Genetic Test?

Following are the clinical indications for performing the Cardiovascular Disease Genetic Test:

  • Family history of cardiovascular disease
  • Obesity
  • Chest pain
  • Swelling in the extremities, particularly the legs
  • Trouble breathing
  • Fatigue 

How is the Specimen Collected for the Cardiovascular Disease Genetic Test?

Following is the specimen collection process for Cardiovascular Disease Genetic Test:

Sample required: Blood

Process of obtaining blood sample in adults:

  • A band is wrapped around the arm, 3-4 inches above the collection site (superficial vein that lies within the elbow pit)
  • The site is cleaned with 70% alcohol in an outward spiral, away from the zone of needle insertion
  • The needle cap is removed and is held in line with the vein, pulling the skin tight
  • With a small and quick thrust, the vein is penetrated using the needle
  • The required amount of blood sample is collected by pulling the plunger of the syringe out slowly
  • The wrap band is removed, gauze is placed on the collection site, and the needle is removed
  • The blood is immediately transferred into the blood container, which has the appropriate preservative/clot activator/anti-coagulant
  • The syringe and the needle are disposed into the appropriate “sharp container” for safe and hygienic disposal

Preparation required: No special preparation is needed prior to the test.

What is the Significance of the Cardiovascular Disease Genetic Test Result?

  • A positive value for the Cardiovascular Disease Genetic Test may indicate an increased risk for cardiovascular disease

The laboratory test results are NOT to be interpreted as results of a "stand-alone" test. The test results have to be interpreted after correlating with suitable clinical findings and additional supplemental tests/information. Your healthcare providers will explain the meaning of your tests results, based on the overall clinical scenario.

Additional and Relevant Useful Information:

  • Cardiovascular disease is among the leading causes of death in developed countries, including in the United States

Certain medications that you may be currently taking may influence the outcome of the test. Hence, it is important to inform your healthcare provider of the complete list of medications (including any herbal supplements) you are currently taking. This will help the healthcare provider interpret your test results more accurately and avoid unnecessary chances of a misdiagnosis.

What are some Useful Resources for Additional Information?

The following DoveMed website links are useful resources for additional information:

http://www.dovemed.com/common-procedures/procedures-laboratory/angiotensin-ii-blood-test/

http://www.dovemed.com/hypertension/

Please visit our Laboratory Procedures Center for more physician-approved health information:

http://www.dovemed.com/common-procedures/procedures-laboratory/

References and Information Sources used for the Article:

Kee, J. L. (2010). Laboratory and diagnostic tests with nursing implications (8th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

Martini, F., Nath, J. L., & Bartholomew, E. F. (2012). Fundamentals of anatomy & physiology (9th ed.). San Francisco: Benjamin Cummings.

Schnell, Z. B., Van, L. A., & Kranpitz, T. R. (2003). Davis's Comprehensive handbook of laboratory and diagnostic tests: With nursing implications. Philadelphia: F.A. Davis. 

Williamson, M. A., Snyder, L. M., & Wallach, J. B. (2011). Wallach's interpretation of diagnostic tests (9th ed.). Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Reviewed and Approved by a member of the DoveMed Editorial Board
First uploaded: Jan. 17, 2016
Last updated: Jan. 17, 2016