Press Release Details

Quest Diagnostics is First Laboratory to Offer Innovative, New Blood Tests to Assess Risk of Heart Attack



TETERBORO, N.J., NOVEMBER 15, 1999—Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (NYSE: DGX), the nation’s leading provider of clinical testing, information and services, today announced it is the first laboratory to offer an innovative, new high sensitivity C-reactive protein (CRP) test, to help physicians assess the risk of heart attack. Quest Diagnostics began offering the test to clients nationwide today under the name Cardio CRP. The N High Sensitivity CRP test, manufactured by Dade Behring, Inc., was cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for cardiac risk stratification on October 25, 1999.

The new test detects low levels of C-reactive protein in the blood. When combined with total cholesterol and HDL cholesterol values, CRP results have been shown in numerous clinical studies to improve by as much as four times a physician’s ability to predict risk of cardiovascular or peripheral vascular disease versus existing methods.

Effective today, Quest Diagnostics will provide physicians a test report containing a numeric result for Cardio CRP as well as quintile risk stratification. Beginning December 15, Quest Diagnostics will provide the combined predictive value of Cardio CRP test results that are ordered together with Total Cholesterol and HDL Cholesterol tests. Test results will include an assessment of the relative risk for a cardiovascular event based on the combination of the Cardio CRP test with the ratio of total cholesterol to HDL cholesterol.

"Quest Diagnostics is proud to be the first laboratory to offer the high-sensitivity Cardio CRP assay for cardiac risk stratification," said Harvey Kaufman, MD, Vice President and Chief Laboratory Officer for Quest Diagnostics. "The results of recent clinical studies have shown conclusively that high-sensitivity CRP adds to the predictive value of both total and HDL cholesterol in determining the risk of a myocardial infarction."

Even without the availability of total cholesterol and HDL cholesterol test results, detection of low levels of CRP has been shown to be valuable as an advance indicator of atherosclerosis, the buildup of fatty deposits on the walls of blood vessels that can eventually lead to a myocardial infarction (heart attack).

The importance of the new high-sensitivity Cardio CRP test is that it can detect extremely low levels of C-reactive protein levels. The test is much more sensitive than the currently available CRP test, which is ordered by physicians only to detect systemic inflammation in patients with infections or tissue injuries.

"The addition of Cardio CRP provides Quest Diagnostics customers with a comprehensive menu of tests, information, and services for cardiovascular disease management," said Paul Rust, Vice President, Sales and Marketing for Quest Diagnostics.

With 1998 revenues of approximately $1.3 billion, Dade Behring is among the largest clinical diagnostics companies worldwide, offering a wide range of products and systems for diagnostics testing. The company is headquartered in Deerfield, Illinois and has operations in 39 countries.

Quest Diagnostics is the nation's leading provider of diagnostic testing, information and services to physicians, hospitals, managed care organizations, employers and government agencies, and has annualized revenues of more than $3 billion. The wide variety of tests performed on human tissue and fluids help doctors and hospitals diagnose, treat and monitor disease. Its Nichols Institute unit conducts research, specializes in esoteric testing using genetic screening and other advanced technologies, and manufactures and distributes diagnostic test kits and instruments. Quest Diagnostics is one of the leading providers of testing to support clinical trials of new pharmaceuticals worldwide. Quest Informatics collects and analyzes laboratory, pharmaceutical and other data to help large health care customers better manage the health of their patients. QuestNet is an innovative new product offering that provides network management services to large buyers of health care services. Additional company information can be found on the Internet at:


The statements in this press release which are not historical facts or information may be forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause the outcome to be materially different. Certain of these risks and uncertainties are listed in the Quest Diagnostics Incorporated 1998 Form 10-K and subsequent filings.

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