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UH engineers to improve test for cardiovascular disease
Date:5/5/2010

blood pressure cuff and detector that are hooked up to a computer equipped with specialized software.

Not much larger than a quarter, the detector is placed on the fingertip, while a blood pressure cuff is wrapped around a patient's arm. The cuff is inflated for a period of two to five minutes as blood flow to the hand decreases and the finger temperature drops due to the absence of warm circulating blood. Once the cuff is released, blood flow rushes into the forearm and hand. A sensor in the detector, attached to the fingertip, records data on how fast and completely temperature in the finger rebounds. In all, the test takes no more than 15 minutes. Unlike most other methods, the results paint a picture of an individual's vascular health.

"The speed and magnitude of temperature recovery is a measure of vascular reactivity," Kleis said. "The greater the rebound, the more reactive and healthy the artery. We helped quantify this with our models. A lower or weaker return of temperature signifies a problem that should prompt consultation with a cardiologist."

"Cardiovascular disease is the most lethal disease in the United States and other developed countries, but one important aspect of it is that if it's caught at an early stage, then it's treatable," Metcalfe said. "You can actually prevent its progression by modifying your lifestyle to include a more healthy diet and exercise. In some cases, you can actually reverse it."

VENDYS is designed to be complimentary to other cardiovascular tests, but researchers are hopeful it can be more widely used to regularly monitor cardiovascular fitness. More specifically, for those known to be affected by the disease who are trying to stop its further progression through things such as diet and exercise, it could be a risk-free indicator of how they are doing. Additionally, Endothelix is working on ways to make the device
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Contact: Lisa Merkl
lkmerkl@uh.edu
713-743-8192
University of Houston
Source:Eurekalert

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