Associate Professor John Atherton

A.professor john  200x267_saliva research symposium brisbane 2016 2John Atherton is Director of Cardiology (Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital), Associate Professor (University of Queensland), Adjunct Professor (Queensland University of Technology) and Pre-eminent Staff Specialist (QLD Health). He sits on Board of the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand (CSANZ) and chairs the CSANZ Professional Ethics Standards Committee. He chaired the CSANZ Heart Failure Council and the Asia-Pacific Acute Decompensated Heart Failure (HF) Registry Scientific Advisory Committee. Dr Atherton has been an appointed member of the Australian Government Medical Services Advisory Committee (2003-2018), which evaluates the comparative safety, effectiveness, and cost effectiveness of medical services and advices public funding arrangements for Medicare. He sat on the National Heart Foundation HF Guidelines executive writing group and was an official content reviewer for the 2016 ESC HF Guidelines. Clinical service and research interests include being the cardiologist lead for the QLD Statewide HF Service database and investigating methods to detect presymptomatic cardiac disease.

Presentation Title: A Spit Test for Heart Failure?

Heart failure (HF) is a severe complication that affects 26 million people worldwide and the lack of early screening programs in HF hinders early detection and targeted treatment and hence contributes greatly to the deaths associated with HF. There are a few unmet needs in HF diagnostics. HF is often under- and over-diagnosed, especially in the remote community. It remains difficult to reliably risk stratify patients with HF. The clinical and cost effectiveness of screening for heart failure or structural heart disease is uncertain. Human saliva contains a large number of circulating proteins that can serve as indicators of the body’s health and wellbeing. Previous study suggested circulating peptide biomarkers are secreted into saliva in a manner that might enables highly specific detection of HF. Galectin-3 is involved during cardiac fibrosis and inflammation. Galectin-3 levels were significantly (p<0.0001) elevated in saliva from HF pateints (n=63) compare to healthy controls (n=51). In addition, there was a significant correlation between galectin-3 levels in saliva with serum (spearman’s rank correlation coefficient r=0.38-, p<0.0001). We also investigated the salivary proteomic profiles of HF patients and healthy controls were compared Mass Spectrometry. Three potential candidate proteins were identified based on their abundance changes and were combined into a prediction model using logistic regression. The panel demonstrated excellent diagnostic performance when comparing early class HF patients and healthy controls with an overall diagnostic accuracy of 84%.