There are many risk factors to contend with when it comes to identifying a person’s potential for a stroke. One of these risk factors, is Peripheral Arterial Disease, a condition that is marked by the build-up of plaque in the arteries that prevents blood from flowing freely.
The QUANTAFLO™ PAD test is performed in order to identify this condition and ensure that a person is given the proper treatments in order to reduce the risk of a stroke.
What is PAD?
PAD is a condition that exists both symptomatically and asymptomatically. A lot of its symptoms can easily be mistaken for other conditions as well, which makes it doubly likely to be left undiagnosed. In the event that it is left undiagnosed, a person’s risk of a stroke (or cardiovascular events, like a heart attack) increases exponentially.
For people whose PAD exist symptomatically, the most notable symptom is Critical Limb Ischemia (intermittent pain or numbness in the legs and feet.) It occurs due to muscles not being able to obtain the necessary amount of oxygen due to blockages in the arteries.
This, on its own, is not fatal. However, once again, if left unchecked, it could result in gangrene, a loss of limbs, or even death (either as a result of cardiovascular issues or a stroke.)
How Does PAD Cause Stroke?
Strokes occur as a result of blocked or narrowed arteries. When the blood flow from the brain is cut off, so is its oxygen supply. Lacking oxygen, brain tissue goes into shock before eventually dying, which can cause severe or irreparable damage to the brain.
Peripheral Arterial Disease isn’t very likely to cause stroke, according to certain studies. However, those who have Peripheral Arterial Disease are at a higher risk for a condition that does, that is, Coronary Artery Disease. For people that have both, the risk of stroke, heart attack, or death is serious enough that critical measures may need to be taken. Including, but not limited to: bypass surgery or angioplasty.
QUANTAFLO™ PAD test
In the past, the identification of PAD was reliant on highly complex ultrasound machines — which required specialty training to be used. Nowadays, however, it’s become standard to use the QUANTAFLO™ PAD test, which is not only easier to use but is also far cheaper.
The test is done in order to diagnose the health of arterial blood flow and direction, and unlike the older methods, it is completely automatic when it comes to the calculation of results. Within 5 minutes, the system will be able to draw up a full-page report that is highly accurate when it comes to identifying PAD.
It’s a groundbreaking discovery that ensures that those that are at risk can be treated as soon as possible, which should, at the very least, stay the progression of the disease and reduce the chances of it resulting in a stroke, heart attack, or death.
Quantaflo™ PAD Testing Process
As mentioned, unlike with other PAD testing systems, Quantaflo is capable of producing almost instantaneous results in 5 minutes — thanks to its advanced and intuitive software. As such the QUANTAFLO™ PAD test makes up of only a couple of simple steps…
- Step 1: To start off with, the patient is asked to lay in a supine position (on their back), which is the traditional way of testing patients for PAD. However, if the patient displays signs of restricted lower extremity mobility, Quantaflo also allows for seated ABI tests.
- Step 2: Next, a sensor is clipped on both of the patient’s legs (via their toes), so the computer is able to measure and record blood flow.
- Step 3: Similiar to the previous step, the sensing device is once again used in order to measure and record blood flow. This time, however, it’s clipped onto the patient’s fingers in order to analyze the blood flow in their arms.
- Step 4: Traditionally, this is where input from the handling physician will be required in some form. However, with Quantaflo, this process is completely automated. The system’s software will compare and analyze the collected blood flow measurements of each limb in order to identify potential arterial blockages that are characteristic of PAD.
After only a handful of minutes. A full-page report can then be viewed and printed through the laptop, computer, or tablet for your own personal perusal or later analysis.
Why Should You Be Tested?
The beauty of the Quantaflo PAD Test is that it doesn’t require any specialized training. Other ABI testing machines would require some amount of expertise from the handler, but not with Quantaflo! The QUANTAFLO™ PAD test can be done even by a medical assistant.
This feature makes it easier and more likely for those that are at risk for PAD to be tested. In that same vein, it can also be very helpful when it comes to identifying whether PAD is the cause of a stroke — or whether it will lead to one.
Patients that should be tested with QUANTAFLO™ include the following: patients that are over the age of 65, diabetics, or those with a history of smoking.
Not everyone will be tested for PAD in order to identify the risk of a stroke. But they should be.
A lot of facilities these days still insist on using manual ABI testing systems that are not the most efficient when it comes to identifying PAD — they also tend to be more invasive, and a lot more expensive to perform. The QUANTAFLO™ PAD test changed the game by offering everything that a lot of the older systems lacked, and it’s done a good job of it than most.
Of course, Quantaflo is not the only test that is performed in order to identify a person’s risk of stroke, and neither is PAD the only condition that increases the risk for it. However, it doesn’t hurt to take advantage of the efficiency that Quantaflo provides in order to encourage patients to act preventatively as quickly as possible.
After all, as a condition with no known cure, early diagnosis is vital in the process of helping those patients the receive treatments that will allow them to live their life unimpeded for as long as their body will allow.
- Banerjee, Amitava, et al. “Associations Between Peripheral Artery Disease and Ischemic Stroke.” Stroke, vol. 41, no. 9, 2010, pp. 2102–2107., doi:10.1161/strokeaha.110.582627.
- “QuantaFlo.” Semler Scientific, http://www.semlerscientific.com/quantaflo/.