SOURCE: AtCor Medical Holdings Ltd.

November 13, 2008 17:03 ET

AtCor Medical Announces Breaking Study Supports Noninvasive Central Blood Pressure as a Treatment Target

NIH Funded Study Finds Cardiovascular Events Increase Significantly When Central Pulse Pressure Exceeds 50 mmHg

ITASCA, IL--(Marketwire - November 13, 2008) - AtCor Medical (ASX: ACG), the developer and marketer of the SphygmoCor® system, which measures central blood pressures and arterial stiffness noninvasively, today announced that a new study* funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) found that when patients' central pulse pressures exceeded 50 mm of mercury, there was a significant increase in cardiovascular events. The 2,405 patient study was presented on November 12 at the 2008 American Heart Association Scientific Sessions in New Orleans.

Central pulse pressure, the difference between systolic and diastolic blood pressure in the ascending aorta, was measured noninvasively in the study using AtCor Medical's SphygmoCor technology. While central blood pressure has consistently been shown to be a more powerful predictor of cardiovascular events than traditional cuff blood pressure measurements taken at the arm, this study is the first to show a specific threshold value for central pressure, above which risk is significantly increased. No similar threshold was identified for brachial cuff blood pressure. This is the most powerful evidence to date related to a specific treatment target for central pressures, which can be managed by vasoactive hypertension drugs as well as, in some cases, lifestyle changes.

Central pulse pressure as a treatment target

Study participants were initially free of cardiovascular disease and were followed for a period of 5.5 years. During the course of the study, over 340 participants experienced a major cardiovascular event. The study abstract concluded that central pulse pressure equal to or greater than 50 mm of mercury predicts adverse cardiovascular outcomes independent of other risk factors for cardiovascular disease. It further stated that these findings call for examination of noninvasive central pulse pressure as a treatment target in clinical intervention strategies.

"This is a major development," said Duncan Ross, AtCor Medical's President and CEO. "Many studies have shown that elevated central blood pressure is associated with increased incidence of heart attack, stroke and kidney disease. This research identifies a specific central blood pressure threshold where events sharply increase -- identifying patients at risk who would not be identified with standard cuff blood pressure measurements taken at the arm. The data from this study will be vitally important to clinicians in diagnosis and drug therapy management -- and in pharmaceutical trials."

About AtCor Medical

AtCor Medical develops and markets products for the early detection of cardiovascular risk and management of cardiovascular disease. Its technology allows researchers and clinicians to measure central blood pressure noninvasively. The company's SphygmoCor system visibly identifies the effects of reflected blood pressure in the central aortic pressure wave, effects which cannot be detected with standard blood pressure monitoring. More than 1,700 SphygmoCor systems are currently in use worldwide at major medical centers, research institutions and in various clinical trials with leading pharmaceutical companies. The company's technology has been featured in over 400 peer-reviewed studies published in leading medical journals. AtCor has operations in Australia, the United States and Europe. For further information, please visit our web site at www.atcormedical.com.

*Mary J. Roman et al. Central Pulse Pressure 50mmHg Predicts Adverse Cardiovascular Outcome: The Strong Heart Study Circulation. 2008;118:S_1157

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