For more than a century, physicians have used a sphygmomanometer to measure the systolic and diastolic blood pressure in the brachial artery. The sphygmomanometer has evolved significantly over the past 100 years, but the theory behind measuring this important vital sign has remained unchanged.
While one’s brachial artery is the most common site to measure blood pressure, it it not the most reliable. Younger people, for example, have more compliant blood vessel walls that can give misleadingly high blood pressure. Older people have stiffer blood vessels which could give a misleadingly low blood pressure. In either case, such inaccurate readings can cause clinicians to administer improper meds or drips.
CASP, or central aortic systolic pressure, is a much better indicator of cardiac health because it measures the pressure in the aorta where hypertension can cause the most damage. However, CASP is difficult to measure because it requires an invasive procedure.
University of Leicester scientists have determined a way to measure CASP without surgery. It involves a special wrist-worn monitor developed by Singapore-based HealthSTATS International. Unlike traditional electronic blood pressure monitors, the HealthSTATS device measures a user’s pulse wave. Using the pulse wave value in conjunction with the systolic and diastolic blood pressure readings from a traditional inflatable cuff, scientists are able to compute the CASP values with 99% correlation with actual surgically measured CASP readings.
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.
Full story from the University of Leicester: Ground-breaking technology will revolutionise blood pressure measurement for first time for over a century…
A-PULSE CASPro from HealthSTATS International…