Results of a Mayo Clinic study show that a simple, noninvasive finger sensor test is “highly predictive” of a major cardiac event, such as a heart attack or stroke, for people who are considered at low or moderate risk, according to researchers.
The study was presented Tuesday, March 31, 2009 at 11:30 a.m. EDT at the American College of Cardiology Annual Scientific Session in Orlando (0917-7).
The noninvasive finger test device, called the EndoPAT by Itamar Medical, measures the health of endothelial cells by measuring blood flow. Endothelial cells line the blood vessels and regulate normal blood flow. Research has shown that if the cells don’t function properly — a condition called endothelial dysfunction — it can set the stage for atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and lead to major cardiovascular health problems. Previously, there was no simple test for endothelium function, says Amir Lerman, M.D., a cardiologist at Mayo Clinic and the senior author of the study.
Forty-nine percent of patients whose EndoPAT test indicated poor endothelial function had a cardiac event during the seven-year study. Researchers at Mayo Clinic and Tufts-New England Medical Center in Boston used the device to test 270 patients between the ages of 42 and 66 and followed their progress from August 1999 to August 2007.
Below is a link to an edited youtube video with Dr. Lerman talking about the study.