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Reproducibility and variability of digital thermal monitoring of vascular reactivity

Naser Ahmadi, Gary L McQuilkin, Mohammad W Akhtar, Fereshteh Hajsadeghi, Stanley J Kleis, Harvey Hecht, Morteza Naghavi, Matthew Budoff

Clin Physiol Funct Imaging 2011 Nov;31(6):422-8.

Abstract Background: Previous studies demonstrated that digital thermal monitoring (DTM) of vascular reactivity, a new test for vascular function assessment, is well correlated with Framingham Risk Score, coronary calcium score and CT angiography. This study evaluates the variability and reproducibility of DTM measurements. We hypothesized that DTM is reproducible, and its variability falls within the accepted range of clinical diagnostic tests.

Method: A fully automated DTM device (VENDYS, Endothelix Inc., Houston, TX, USA) was used for repeated measurement of vascular function in 18 healthy volunteers (age 35 ± 4 years, 74% men) after 24 h. All subjects underwent overnight fasting, and the test was preceded by 30-min rest in a supine position inside a dimmed room with temperature 22-24°C. The measurements were obtained during and after a 2-min supra systolic arm-cuff occlusion-induced reactive hyperaemia procedure. As a part of this study, the Doppler ultrasound hyperaemic, low-frequency, blood velocity of radial artery and a fingertip DTM of vascular function were compared simultaneously. Postcuff deflation temperature rebound and area under the curve, DTM indices of vascular function, were studied.

Results: Temperature rebound area under the curve correlated closely with Doppler hyperaemic, low-frequency, blood velocity (r = 0·97, P = 0·0001). Day-to-day intra-subject variability was 6·2% for baseline temperature, 8·7% for mean blood pressure and 11·4% for heart rate. The coefficient of repeatability of temperature rebound and area under the curve were 2·4% and 2·8%.

Conclusion: In a controlled environment, the repeatability of DTM is excellent. DTM can be used as a reproducible and operator-independent test for non-invasive measurement of vascular function.

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© 2011 The Authors. Clinical Physiology and Functional Imaging © 2011 Scandinavian Society of Clinical Physiology and Nuclear Medicine.

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