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Catching Heart Disease Early

What if you knew that you were headed toward cardiovascular disease …that artherosclerosis, hardening of the arteries was progressing silently in you vascular system? Quality of Life Medical Center had a device, called the EndoPAT that can determine endothelial function assessment.

Artherosclerosis begins in childhood and increases in the body until it clinically manifests, usually in middle age. Changes in the endothelial cells precedes this process. Endothelial cells are part of many aspects of vascular biology including:

• Barrier function – the endothelium acts as a semi-selective barrier between the vessel lumen and surrounding tissue, controlling the passage of materials and the transit of white blood cells into and out of the bloodstream. Excessive or prolonged increases in permeability of the endothelial monolayer, as in cases of chronic inflammation, may lead to tissue edema/swelling.

• Blood clotting (thrombosis & fibrinolysis). The endothelium normally provides a non-thrombogenic surface because it contains, for example, heparan sulfate which acts as a cofactor for activating antithrombin, a protease that inactivates several factors in the coagulation cascade.

• Inflammation[6] • Formation of new blood vessels (angiogenesis)

• Vasoconstriction and vasodilation, and hence the control of blood pressure

• Repair of damaged or diseased organs via an injection of blood vessel cells[7] • Angiopoietin-2 works with VEGF to facilitate cell proliferation and migration of endothelial cells.

Endothelial cells line the inner walls of the heart and blood vessels. Damage to these cells is the earliest clinically detectable stage of cardiovascular disease that can be observed. Normal endothelial function protects blood vessels from artherosclerosis, hardening of the arteries – or plaque buildup.

The EndoPAT (peripheral arterial tone) evaluation is non-invasive. Using finger probes and a standard blood cuff, it only takes 15 minutes. The study can tell you quickly your level of artery and vein health. Depending on your results, your physician can discuss treatment options that include lifestyle changes to possible prescription medications.

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