This courtesy of Salah Sedarous via PhysOrg
For many diabetics, monitoring their condition involves much more than adhering to a routine of glucose sensing and insulin injections. It also entails carefully monitoring the ongoing toll this disease takes on their body. An innovative new optical diagnostic tool created by Columbia University researchers and reported today in the Optical Society’s (OSA) open-access journal Biomedical Optics Express may soon make it easier to diagnose and monitor one of the most serious complications of diabetes, peripheral arterial disease (PAD). PAD, which is marked by a narrowing of the arteries caused by plaque accumulation, frequently results in insufficient blood flow to the body’s extremities and increases a person’s risk for heart attack and stroke. This new noninvasive imaging technique – known as dynamic diffuse optical tomography imaging (DDOT) – uses near-infrared light to map the concentration of hemoglobin in the body’s tissue. This mapping can reveal how effectively blood is flowing to patients’ hands and feet. “Currently, there are no good methods to assess and monitor PAD in diabetic patients,” explains Andreas Hielscher, Ph.D., professor of Biomedical and Electrical Engineering and Radiology, and director of the Biophotonics and Optical Radiology Laboratory at Columbia University.
“Using instrumentation for fast image acquisition lets us observe blood volume over time in response to stimulus such as a pressure cuff occlusion or blockage,” said Hielscher. To map and monitor the presence of hemoglobin, the protein that carries oxygen in the blood, red and near-infrared light is shone at different angles around areas that are susceptible to arterial disease. These specific wavelengths of light are then absorbed or scattered, depending on the concentration of hemoglobin. “In the case of tissue, light is absorbed by hemoglobin. Since hemoglobin is the main protein in blood, we can image blood concentrations within the foot without using a contrast agent,” Hielscher points out. Contrast agents pose the risk of renal failure in some cases, so the ability to monitor PAD without using a contrast agent is a great advantage. Since more than 25 million people—or 8 percent of the population—in the United States are diabetic, this diagnostic tool has the potential to make it significantly simpler to diagnose and monitor diabetics with PAD in the future. Khalil, Hielscher, and colleagues hope to bring their diagnostic tool to market and into clinics within the next 3 years.
Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2012-08-diabetes-dangerous-complications.html#jCp