Simple Finger Device Could Be Heart Attack Tool Soon

A simple device that uses a finger could be the latest equipment in the doctors office to detect factors that could cause heart events. The device is being used in a Mayo study.
A simple noninvasive sensor test that is used on the finger has been found to be highly predictive of a major cardiac event according to the results of a Mayo Clinic study.

This device is great news for ER departments where early diagnosis of heart attack and strokes are life and death.

The EndoPAT by Itamar Medical measures the health of endothelial cells by measuring the blood flow. When the blood flow is off, a condition called endothelial dysfunction, the stage is set for atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and lead to major cardiovascular health problems.

The device was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2003.

In the past there was no simple test for endotheluium function.

The Mayo Clinic study tested 270 patients between August 1999 and August 2007. The patients were between the age of 42 and 66. All of the test subjects knew that they had low-to-medium risk for a major heart event based on their Framingham Risk Score.

The Framingham Risk Score is a score that is used to predict risk. It was developed by the Framingham Heart Study.

Some of the risk factors include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity and a family history of heart disease.

Science Daily reports:

Dr. Lerman says. “The results of the study may help identify a discriminating tool beyond the Framingham Risk Score,” he says. “And the results of these individual tests may help physicians change a patient’s medications or recommend other therapies, so they don’t have a heart attack or stroke later on.”

the testing process takes 15 minutes. Probes are applied on the two index fingers of both hands and are hooked to a small machine that measures the blood flow. A standard blood pressure cuff is than inflated. The arm without the cuff is the control. A reading is taken three times in fifteen minutes of the blood flow.

A low PH signal indicates that there is endothelial dysfunction and potentially impaired vascular health that may lead to or serve as a marker for future events.

The study is being presented on Tuesday at the American College of Cardiology Annual Scientific Session in Orlando.

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