SOURCE: AtCor Medical Holdings Ltd.

November 12, 2008 08:55 ET

New Study Shows Central Blood Pressure Is a Superior Predictor of Development of Atrial Fibrillation

ITASCA, IL--(Marketwire - November 12, 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) has found that central pulse pressure is a stronger independent predictor of the first onset of atrial fibrillation (AF) than well established clinical and echocardiographic risk factors. AF, a condition in which the upper chambers of the heart beat erratically, affects an estimated 2 million people in the United States alone and is particularly common in older people.

Results of the 800-patient study, which utilized AtCor's SphygmoCor system, were unveiled yesterday at the annual American Heart Association Scientific Sessions in New Orleans.

"This Mayo Clinic study shows that every 20mm of mercury increase in central pulse pressure represented a near doubling of the risk of developing atrial fibrillation," said Duncan Ross, AtCor Medical President and CEO. "We anticipate this will spur further interest in examining the role elevated central pressure may play in the onset of AF, laying the groundwork for potential identification of patients at risk and intervention strategies. Study after study shows the importance of noninvasive central pressure assessment in identifying patients at high risk for cardiovascular events."

Atrial fibrillation is a common heart problem which is caused by disturbance of the heart's electrical system and, if not detected and correctly treated, can result in significant problems, including stroke and heart failure. Approximately 3.8% of persons over 60 have AF and 9% of those 80 or older experience AF. The disorder poses a major health and economic challenge in all developed countries with aging populations.

"Early identification of cardiovascular risk offers significant benefits to patients, as well as cost benefits to health care systems worldwide. The model of treating disease after full onset is no longer sustainable," Ross said. "Noninvasive central pressure assessment is vitally important in this effort."

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 trial 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 more information, please visit our web site at

*Teresa S. Tang et al. Central Pulse Pressure As A Robust Predictor of First Atrial Fibrillation: Study of Atrial Fibrillation in High Risk Elderly (SAFFIHRE) Circulation 118:S_1106-a

Contact Information

  • For further information, please contact

    Larry Watts
    AtCor Medical