ITASCA, IL and SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA--(MARKET WIRE)--Apr 2, 2009 -- AtCor Medical (ASX:ACG.AX - News) today announced that a new study* showed that AtCor's SphygmoCor system, which measures central blood pressure and arterial stiffness noninvasively can predict the development of pre-eclampsia, which occurs in 3-5% of all pregnancies and is a leading cause of maternal and fetal mortality and preterm delivery.
A team at University of London administered the SphygmoCor test, which determines central pressure through a pressure measurement taken at the patient's wrist, on 210 low-risk women. The test was administered between the 11th and 13th weeks of pregnancy. The assessment predicted 79% of all cases of pre-eclampsia and 88% of cases of early onset pre-eclampsia, which occurs before 34 weeks of gestation.
The study, published in the BJOG, a leading international journal of obstetrics and gynecology, found that two central cardiovascular indices reported by the SphygmoCor system predicted subsequent development of pre-eclampsia. These indices, augmentation pressure and augmentation index, both measure arterial stiffness.
Early warning: key to surveillance and prevention strategies
The authors of the study point out that since the pre-eclampsia disease process is already established by the middle of the second trimester, it is likely that successful preventive measures will have to be established as early in pregnancy as possible. "These findings may lead to development of a robust screening model that would be invaluable in the development of an early therapeutic strategy for the prevention of pre-eclampsia," the study concludes.
"This study points to a promising new application for our SphymoCor technology," said Duncan Ross, president and CEO of AtCor Medical. "If the SphygmoCor system can identify women at high risk of developing pre-eclampsia long before clinical symptoms can be detected, targeted patient surveillance and earlier intervention will be possible.
"This study provides further evidence of the importance of noninvasive central blood pressure as a predictor of cardiovascular events. Its superior capability in predicting heart attacks, strokes and kidney disease has been well established in earlier studies."
About AtCor Medical
AtCor Medical develops and markets products for the early detection of cardiovascular risk and management of cardiovascular disease. Its technology allows researchers and clinical to measure central blood pressure noninvasively. The company's SphygmoCor system visibly identifies the effects of reflected blood pressure in the central aortic pressure wave, effects that cannot be detected with standard blood pressure monitoring.
More than 1,800 SphygmoCor systems are currently in use worldwide at major medical and research institutions and in clinical trials with leading pharmaceutical companies. The companies technology has been featured in over 400 peer-reviewed studies published in leading medical journals. AtCor has operations in the United States, Australia, and Europe. For further information, please visit our web site at www.atcormedical.com.
* Khalil A, Copper D, Harrington K. Pulse wave analysis, a preliminary study of a novel technique for the prediction of pre-eclampsia. BJOG 2009; 116:268-277.
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