Scientists at the Brandenburg Medical School are developing the patented antepulsation method as part of the VIP+ funding measure in the “AngioAccel” project.
New heart pants aim to reduce risk of heart attacks
The treatment method is intended to preventively and therapeutically activate the regenerative power of the vessels.© Brandenburg Medical School
In antepulsation, ECG-controlled leg cuffs are used to increase blood flow to the legs in a patient-specific manner by means of modified “heart pants”, thus counteracting circulatory disorders. The goal is to improve patients’ quality of life and reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Approximately 202 million people worldwide suffer from severe circulatory disorders in the legs. Smoking and diabetes are the main causes for the occurrence of the so-called peripheral arterial occlusive disease (pAVK). Because of the often characteristic pain when walking and the frequent connection with smoking, pAVD is also known as “smoker’s leg” or as “shop window disease”, because the severe pain means that sufferers have to keep standing until the pain has subsided. Many mask the problem by simulating window shopping.
PAD is almost always caused by calcification of the vessel walls, known as arteriosclerosis. pAVK patients have up to a 60 percent increased risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke.
THE NUMBER OF LEG AMPUTATIONS DUE TO PAVK IS INCREASING DRAMATICALLY
Physical exercise and sports activities are actually the best means to prevent the severe circulatory disorders. However, pAVD patients often fail to exercise because of their limited functional capacity, which prevents many patients from even beginning to exercise actively. Often, the disease has progressed so far that so-called no-option patients remain, who can then neither be subjected to intervention nor to bypass surgery. In this cohort of patients, amputation is the only remaining treatment option. In Germany, approximately 60,000 amputations are performed annually as a result of PAOD. An estimated 85 percent of these procedures would be preventable with timely therapy.
NEW TREATMENT METHOD FOR THE REDUCTION OF CIRCULATORY DISORDERS
The cost of patient care, which requires additional, qualified monitoring staff, is very high. With the development of the “heart pants”, a suit similar to a pair of trousers that pumps rhythmically like a heart, scientists at the Brandenburg Medical School have now succeeded in developing a non-invasive, non-surgical and personalized treatment strategy that can eliminate the peripheral circulatory disorders and associated pain patterns that occur in PAOD. These are ECG-controlled leg cuffs that pump blood to the legs, accelerating blood flow. The treatment method is intended to preventively and therapeutically activate the regenerative power of the vessels. This process is called the formation of the “biological bypass”. In this process, the pulsation of the leg cuffs simulates the effect of physical exercise on the arteries, stimulating vascularization and thus enhancing patients’ health, fitness and quality of life.
In the VIP+ project “AngioAccel”, the scientists now want to perform the technical validation of the cardiac pants in a clinical study (Antepuls-1) on pAVK patients in order to optimize the AngioAccel system for application. The principle of “AngioAccel” is unique worldwide, as for the first time there is a non-invasive option for treating pAVK, thus eliminating all risks of invasive procedures. Cardiothoracic therapy is designed to significantly increase the walking distance of patients, allowing them to exercise independently again. After successful validation, the patented cardiothoracic therapy will initially be offered in regional treatment centers. In addition, the scientists hope to obtain approval for the therapy procedure on the international medical market.
- Federal Ministry of Education and Research: Heart pants can save lives (01.302018)
- Project Profile AngioAccel