Diagnosticar un traumatismo craneal con una gota de sangre

Una gota de sangre diagnostica daño craneal

Investigadores de la Universidad de Ginebra, en colaboración con los Hospitales de Barcelona, Madrid y Sevilla, han desarrollado una pequeña caja que utiliza una sola gota de sangre para diagnosticar la posibilidad de una lesión cerebral leve en el paciente

Caerse por las escaleras, andar en bicicleta o hacer ejercicio pueden causar síntomas como visión borrosa, náuseas o pérdida momentánea del conocimiento. Estos síntomas pueden ser la simple consecuencia de la violencia del choque y no dejar secuelas, pero también pueden ser un signo de conmoción cerebral.

Por eso, después de una caída o impacto, las personas lesionadas tienen que ir a la sala de emergencias para una tomografía computarizada, un examen que envía rayos X al cerebro para detectar si hay o no un traumatismo craneal.

Para evitar la espera en el hospital y la irradiación innecesaria en 90 casos, investigadores de la Universidad de Ginebra (UNIGE), en colaboración con los Hospitales de Barcelona, Madrid y Sevilla, han tratado de aislar ciertas proteínas cuya presencia en la sangre aumenta en caso de traumatismo craneal leve.

“Nuestra idea era encontrar una manera de hacer un examen rápido que permitiera, por ejemplo, durante un encuentro de boxeo o de fútbol americano, saber si el atleta puede regresar al campo o si su estado requiere hospitalización.

Todo lo contrario de la tomografía computarizada, un examen que dura mucho tiempo y que no se puede hacer en ninguna parte”, destaca el profesor Jean-Charles Sánchez, del Departamento de Medicina Interna de Especialidades y del Centro de Biomarcadores de la Facultad de Medicina de la UNIGE.

Funciona como una prueba de embarazo

Sigue siendo necesario desarrollar un dispositivo que pueda utilizarse en cualquier lugar, de forma rápida y sencilla, y que pueda obtenerse en farmacias o pabellones deportivos. La prueba de diagnóstico rápido que se ha desarrollado cabe en un simple y pequeño estuche de plástico de 5 cm. Inspirado en el principio de las pruebas de embarazo.

TBIcheck funciona colocando una gota de sangre en la pestaña de la carcasa. En 10 minutos, el paciente sabe si hay riesgo de traumatismo menor. “Si su nivel de H-FABP es superior a 2,5 nanogramos por mililitro de sangre”, explica el especialista. “Si aparece una banda, la persona herida debe hacerse una tomografía, si no hay nada, puede irse a casa a salvo”.

Esta primera prueba debería estar en el mercado en 2019. Pero el Prof. Sánchez continúa su investigación sobre los biomarcadores porque, a largo plazo, el objetivo es comercializar biomarcadores que también puedan diagnosticar el accidente cerebrovascular y los aneurismas.

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