Carotid artery stenosis is a major contributor to cerebrovascular accidents like strokes. Taiwanese researchers have developed a method for readily and swiftly diagnosing this condition. “Mail Online” reports that studies on 200 patients proved the method’s efficacy. Simply film a 30-second clip with your phone and submit it.
Was the experiment successful thus far? One hundred and twenty Taiwanese patients’ necks were filmed from the front using an iPhone 6 in 2014; of them, fifty had constricted arteries. Participants were required to lay on their backs and place their heads inside a box that housed a smartphone. In order to get clear audio, holding the phone still was essential.
A motion analysis technique was then used to assess the recordings frame by frame for subtle indications of blood flow restriction owing to cholesterol buildup in the skin around the carotid arteries.
Researchers found that their system for detecting carotid stenosis from 30-second recordings was able to identify 87% of instances, or almost 9 out of 10. Journal of the American Heart Association reported the study’s findings. The authors believe this technique will allow for a more timely evaluation of stroke risk.
Current techniques need costly scanners like ultrasound, CT, and MRI, as well as trained technicians. Therefore, a patient must have been previously diagnosed with high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels before being referred for testing.
Cardiologist and research author Dr. Hsien-Li Kao of Taiwan’s Taipei National University Hospital described the discovery as “eureka.” Due to the simplicity of video diagnosis, a mobile app to provide rapid, reliable screening for stroke risk should be easily attainable. It just takes a doctor, a smartphone, and an app to make a diagnosis in five minutes, which will save many lives.
When blood flow to the brain is interrupted, a stroke occurs, which may be fatal. In the United States and the United Kingdom, it is among the top causes of mortality and disability.
For the most part, ischemic strokes (which make up around 85%) Clots in the blood vessels that provide oxygen to the brain are the only cause of strokes. The formation of clots is due to plaque in the arteries, which breaks off and obstructs blood flow. Those who suffer from it may end up permanently disabled or perhaps dead.
Hsien-Li Kao stresses the need of early stroke detection. The current symptomless stroke rate is between 2% and 5%.
Dr. Hsien-Li Kao adds, “Carotid stenosis does not appear until a stroke occurs.” And using this technology, physicians may take a quick video of the patient’s neck on their smartphone, have it analyzed, and have a report back in as little as five minutes. She also notes that early diagnosis of carotid stenosis leads to better treatment results.