In a major scientific breakthrough, a new blood pressure measurement device is set to revolutionise the way patients' blood pressure is measured.
The new approach, invented by scientists at the University of Leicester and in Singapore, has the potential to enable doctors to treat their patients more effectively because it gives a more accurate reading than the current method used. It does this by measuring the pressure close to the heart the central aortic systolic pressure or CASP.
Blood pressure is currently measured in the arm because it is convenient however this may not always accurately reflect what the pressure is in the larger arteries close to the heart.
The new technology uses a sensor on the wrist to record the pulse wave and then, using computerised mathematical modelling of the pulse wave, scientists are able to accurately read the pressure close to the heart. Patients who have tested the new device found it easier and more comfortable, as it can be worn like a watch.
Being able to measure blood pressure in the aorta which is closer to the heart and brain is important because this is where high blood pressure can cause damage. In addition, the pressure in the aorta can be quite different from that traditionally measured in the arm. The new technology will hopefully lead to better identification of those who will most likely benefit from treatment by identifying those who have a high central aortic systolic pressure value. This will be especially important for younger people in whom the pressure measured in the arm can sometimes be quite exaggerated compared to the pressure in the aorta.
A key question is whether measurement of central aortic pressure will become routine in clinical practice. Professor Williams said: "it is not going to replace what we do overnight but it is a big advance. Further work will define whether such measurements are preferred for everybody or whether there is a more define
|Contact: Ather Mirza|
University of Leicester