New study investigates innovative treatment against peripheral artery disease

Can a simple blood pressure cuff used 20 minutes a day help people with type 2 diabetes suffering from peripheral artery disease? A research project at Steno Diabetes Center is looking for new solutions.  

Reduced blood flow to the limbs caused by hardening of the arteries, also knowns as peripheral artery disease (PAD), is a significant problem especially among people with type 2 diabetes. 26% of people with type 2 diabetes over 65 years suffer from PAD and 71% among patients over 70 years. PAD is a major cause for foot ulcers and amputations.

Now, researchers from Steno are going to investigate if the non-invasive and non-pharmacological treatment method remote ischemic conditioning (RIC) can help patients suffering from PAD.

“Today surgery is more or less the only treatment option and RIC has shown positive results in the treatment of myocardial infarction so it makes sense to investigate if this method is also effective against PAD”, says MD and Ph.D. student at Steno Diabetes Center Christian Stevns Hansen. 

The treatment is carried out using a standard blood pressure cuff which is placed on the upper arm causing restricted blood supply to the arm in certain intervals. 

“It takes no more than approximately 20 minutes a day and it can be done at home. In the beginning of 2016 we’re initiating a pilot trial with 40 patients who are going to use apply RIC for three months and if the results are positive we’ll launch a bigger trial”, says Christian Stevns Hansen.  

To evaluate the effect, parameters such as blood supply, arterial and nerve function as well as inflammation markers will be measured before and after RIC treatment. 

The RISCAID project is carried out in collaboration with Professor Hans Bøtker, department of cardiology at Århus University Hospital and researchers from University of Düsseldorf, Germany.

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