Researchers find simpler way to link atherosclerosis to heart disease

New research from the New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine (NYITCOM) has found that by examining the health of peripheral arteries, providers could better predict the risk of patients developing ischemic cardiovascular disease.

The study, published April 14 in The Anatomical Record, used primarily histopathology technology to accurately assess atherosclerosis development in patients. The research was completed by Brian L. Beatty, PhD, and Bennett Futterman, MD, both associate professors of anatomy at NYITCOM, and Christopher Hoehmann, a third-year medical student there.

"It is very gratifying to combine the work perspectives of an analytical anatomist with those of a physician and a medical student to leverage synergies and discover outcomes that can be applied in a clinical setting," Beatty said in a statement.

Atherosclerosis has long been seen as an indicator for coronary artery disease, but there hasn’t been a routine method for diagnosing patients with the condition. This study helped create a useful approach.

The authors studied arteries of 48 cadavers to examine the risk factors for atherosclerosis. They sampled 13 arterial segments from each cadaver and compared them to other arties throughout the body. Segments included carotid, central and peripheral arteries.

Results showed the radial artery exhibited a positive correlation between the pathologic left coronary and bifurcation of the carotid arteries. Based on these findings, the authors suggest that further studies evaluate the clinical utility of radial artery ultrasonography to assess cardiovascular disease risk.