Three recent medical school studies of use of the ArtAssist arterial assist device report that the device demonstrated high amputation prevention rates, and showed a possible mechanism for why it works.
The device is designed to be non-invasive and painless, and is used by patients in the home. Cuffs are applied to the foot, ankle and calf of the affected limbs. A control unit generates timed pressure pulses to the cuffs that greatly increase arterial blood flow in patients with obstructed leg arteries - a condition called peripheral arterial occlusive disease.
Earlier studies were performed on patients with a mild form of the disease called intermittent claudication. Such patient experience pain while walking, and it is relieved with rest. The device is said to have increased pain-free walking distances by 2 to 3 times and the benefit was sustained for at least 1 year.
In the more advanced form of the disease, critical limb ischemia, the limb may be threatened with amputation due to non-healing ulcers or rest pain. Two limb salvage trials for this disease state were conducted at the University of Manitoba by vascular surgeon and department head Dr. George Louridas and at the University College Hospital led by Dr. O. Esan of the Western Vascular Institute, Galway, Ireland. The studies showed similar limb salvage rates of 86% percent and 88 percent, compared to 30 percent limb salvage rates in patients that did not receive the therapy. A third study performed at Temple University Medical School in Philadelphia by Dr. Paul van Bemmelen showed the device likely provides long-lasting effects by stimulating the formation of collateral arteries that serve as a natural bypass around the occluded artery segments.
The device was developed at ACI Medical, LLC in San Marcos, California, U.S. The device is provided mostly on a rental basis since its effects are maximized after several months of daily use.
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