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April 2010
MHC Spring 2010

New at Mahnomen Health Center

Peripheral Arterial Disease Testing
What is peripheral arterial disease (PAD)?

Your arteries carry blood rich in oxygen and nutrients from your heart to the rest of your body. When the arteries in your legs become blocked, your legs do not receive enough blood or oxygen, and you may have a condition called peripheral artery disease (PAD), sometimes called leg artery disease.

PAD can cause discomfort or pain when you walk. The pain can occur in your hips, buttocks, thighs, knees, shins, or upper feet. Leg artery disease is considered a type of peripheral arterial disease because it affects the arteries, the blood vessels that carry blood away from your heart to your limbs. You are more likely to develop PAD as you age. One in three people age 70 or older has PAD.

Your arteries are normally smooth and unobstructed on the inside but, as you age, they can become blocked through a process called atherosclerosis, which means hardening of the arteries. As you age, a sticky substance called plaque can build up in the walls of your arteries.  As more plaque builds up, your arteries narrow and stiffen. Eventually, enough plaque builds up to reduce blood flow to your leg arteries. When this happens, your leg does not receive the oxygen it needs. Physicians call this leg artery disease. You may feel well and still have leg artery disease or sometimes similar blockages in other arteries, such as those leading to the heart or brain. It is important to treat this disease not only because it may place you at a greater risk for limb loss but also for having a heart attack or stroke.

Other factors that increase your chances of developing the disease include:

  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol or triglycerides
  • Having diabetes
  • Weighing over 30 percent more than your ideal weight

About the Test

A PADnet is a diagnostic test that can provide early detection of P.A.D. The test detects blockages in the arteries and the quality of blood flow using pulse volume recordings and segmental blood pressure measurements. The results from this test will allow your provider to determine the best treatment options. Treatment options include lifestyle modification, medication, noninvasive therapies and invasive therapeutic options.

What to Expect 

The exam most often takes 20-30 minutes and is completely painless. It feels similar to having your blood pressure taken during a regular check-up. The patient lies down on the exame table. Pressure cuffs are wrapped snugly around the arms, above knees, calves and ankles. The technician inflates the cuffs, and the sensors record the puls waves. The technician then sends an electronic transmission of the test to the radiolosist Dr. Corey Teigen, who then reviews and interpets the study and sends results to the patient's provider. (For more information on Dr. Corey Teigen see Advancing Patient Care article below on left.)


Advancing Patient care

We'd like to congradulate Dr. Corey teigen on his work to improve patient care through advanced technologiess and development of minimally invasive techniques.

Dr. Corey Teigen, interventional and vascular radiologist, is one of only three doctors from around the world working with Cordis Corporation, a Johnson & Johnson Company, in the development of a new stent grafting system used to treat abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA). This new grafting system, INCRAFTT, uses minimally invasive techniques and is specifically suited for people with smaller arteries, such as women.

Dr. Teigen became interested in interventional radiology when he saw that doctors were able to treat patients through minimally invasive techniques, allowing the patients to recover faster and return home sooner. He says, "I'm fortunate to be able to work on a team that is developing new techniques to save more people from AAA rupture".

With the current stent graft systems, about 40% of cases the arteries are too small or the aneurysm is too difficult to treat. Doctors will now be able to use INCRAFTT to repair at least half of the aneurysms that currently cannot be treated. Left untreated, aneurysms will eventually rupture. Around 80% of aneurysms that rupture result in death. In the U.S. alone, approximately 15,000 people die every year due to an AAA rupture. INCRAFTT is currently being trialed in Germany.

Technology like that developed by Dr. Teigen's team is important. Sanford Health & Meritcare are committed to expanding services and advancing medical research and education. It's a part of what they do to perfect your patient experience.

On a local level, Dr. Teigen receives the electronic transmission of Mahnomen Health Center's noninvasive vascular testing to detect or rule out any peripheral artery disease (PAD). Dr. Teigen is a wonderful partner in this innovative service for the Mahnomen area.



April is Donate Life Month

National Donate Life Month was established in 2003 to celebrate the tremendous generosity of those who have saved lives by becoming organ, tissue, marrow, and blood donors and to encourage more Americans to follow their fine example.

Did you know?

  • More than 100,000 Americans are in need of organ, eye or tissue donations right now.
  • Each day, 18 people die while waiting for an organ transplant.
  • Every 12 minutes another name is added to the national organ transplant waiting list.
  • More than 1 million tissue transplants are preformed each year in the U.S.
  • More than 40,000 people receive cornea transplants in the U.S. each year.
  • More than 23,000 organ transplants are performed each year in the U.S.
  • There are opportunities to donate from birth to over age 100, depending upon medical condition and type of donation.
  • An open casket funeral is possible for organ, eye and tissue donors.
  • There is no financial cost to the donor or family related to organ, eye or tissue donation.

For more information about donation:

  Gift of Sight

The Minnesota Lions Eye Bank recognizes Mahnomen Health Center staff for their gift of sight referral leading to six eye donors. The generosity of these donors and their families resulted in more than eight cornea transplants and two corneas or whole eyes devoted to medical research and education.