SphygmoCor from Australia measures the central artery pressure in the aorta which will give a better picture of hypertension

Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital (GH) will soon undertake a study to test the effectiveness of a new apparatus — SphygmoCor — used for measuring central artery pressure in a non-invasive method.

Conventionally, regular blood pressure is measured using the arm cuff model through which the systolic and diastolic pressure in the blood vessel in the arm — brachial artery — is obtained, V. Kanagasabai, dean of the hospital said. The regular mercury manometer is used for this purpose. “The new apparatus from Australia measures the central artery pressure, which is that in the aorta. This will give a better picture of hypertension,” he said.

As part of a pilot study, on Friday — International Hypertension Day — more than 160 patients were screened. When their BP was checked through the regular method, 70 had high BP while 90 showed normal levels. However, when the 90 persons with normal BP were screened using the SphygmoCor, 28 persons showed high central blood pressure, Dr. Kanagasabai said. An early diagnosis of high central blood pressure levels can help prevent damage to organs such as heart, brain, eyes and the kidneys, he added.

“The results will be authenticated with a larger sample of about 10,000 patients. The study could go on till World Heart Day, which is in September. This will be a one-of-its-kind study in the country,” the dean added.

If the apparatus is effective, GH will purchase the equipment after seeking specialists’ opinion. It costs Rs. 20 lakh, he said.

Two models of the apparatus are available. While one follows the regular arm cuff model and is connected to a laptop, the other has a sensor placed on the wrist.

As the pressure signal is being recorded, the SphygmoCor pulse wave analysis technology calculates pressure levels in the aorta. It would also provide details on arterial stiffness and cardiac function.

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