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Study within the UK NHS Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm screening programme finds that MESI ABI device is suitable for simultaneous PAD and hypertension screening  

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Research Study authors: Janus J, Nicholls JK, Pallett E, Bown M, Chung EML. The authors come from the University of Leicester, University of Leicester NHS Trust, National Institute for Health Research Leicester Biomedical Research Centre, and School of Life Course Sciences, King’s College London. 

A MESI PAD screening device was recently tested in the scope of a study researching whether brachial blood pressure measurements by automated peripheral arterial disease (PAD) screening systems are accurate enough for PAD and hypertension screenings at the same time.  

Several PAD screening devices, including MESI’s, were evaluated according to the European Society of Hypertension International Protocol (ESH-IP) Revision 2010. A mercury-free sphygmanometer was used as a reference device. The MESI device successfully met the requirements of ESH-IP for hypertension screening and ranked highest among the devices tested. Further clinical trials are now taking place to assess the use of the device in population screenings where people would simultaneously be checked for hypertension and PAD. 

In this blog you will learn: 

The background of the study

Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is a dangerous cardiovascular condition that often remains undetected until late stages, with many patients not experiencing any symptoms. In screening for PAD, digital devices are faster and easier to use than traditional Doppler. For this reason, PAD screening with these devices is now considered as an addition to national screening programmes in the UK, such as the UK NHS Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) screening programme. [1] In this, the MESI system ranked highest in 2022. You can look at the study here. [2]

Automated PAD screening devices measure the Ankle-Brachial Index on the basis of blood pressure. As PAD and hypertension frequently co-occur, measuring them on the same device would save time and expenses, especially in the scope of large-scale cardiovascular screening programmes.    

For this purpose, the MESI device was one of the devices validated for hypertension screening in accordance with the European Society of Hypertension International Protocol (ESH-IP, Revision 2010) [3]. The devices had previously not been evaluated or licensed for hypertension screening; this is not unusual since there are many separate blood pressure measuring devices on the market while digital Ankle Brachial Index measuring is a relative novelty. 

The devices tested were purchased as part of a larger UK screening trial “Peripheral arterial disease, High blood pressure and Aneurysm Screening Trial” (PHAST) exploring the possibility of combined PAD and hypertension screening to the UK’s existing abdominal aortic aneurysm screening programme. The results of the study will serve as a basis for designing a combined AAA-PAD-HBP population screening offered to all men in the UK at the age of 65. 

The findings of the study

The devices were tested for the accuracy of the blood pressure measurements, which then informed different parts of the ESH-IP protocol assessment. The MESI device successfully passed the systolic and diastolic blood pressure requirements as well as the criteria for dual blood pressure (DBP). The finding presented in the Discussion part was as follows:  

The MESI would be a suitable device for simultaneous PAD and hypertension screening in a national screening programme as an alternative to performing separate ABPI and hypertension screening tests. 

This is excellent news for the MESI device, especially because this is the first study validating the suitability of automated PAD devices for simultaneous PAD and hypertension screening. Now, there are further clinical trials taking place to evaluate the use of the device for combined hypertension and PAD screening for wider population.