Listening for Vascular Turbulence Detects Atherosclerotic Changes


July 27, 2010

Atherosclerotic plaque causes audible turbulence in the bloodstream and a new device can help isolate these sounds to aid in earlier detection of plaque changes. The Stethotron is a noninvasive listening device that filters vascular turbulence noise and makes it audible. Doctors can quickly and easily detect early atherosclerotic changes in vessels before more acute symptoms appear.

The vascular turbulence is detected at 300-1000 Hz to help reveal pathology. The device may help eliminating the cost of ultrasound imaging.

Standard and electronic stethoscopes are designed to listen to heart and lung signals between 10-300 Hz. But these waves do not travel in straight paths. This frequency is a physiological sound and the uncertainty of origin may cause diagnosis errors.

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