The test is called ocular pulse amplitude (OPA) which could be performed by ophthalmologists during routine exams. It can detect carotid artery stenosis (CAS), a condition that clogs or blocks the arteries that feed the front part of the brain, which is a known risk factor of stroke.
Lead researcher Pascal Bruno Knecht, M.D., shares “Our results show that ocular pulse amplitude is a reliable, safe screening test for carotid artery stenosis. We recommend further study to confirm the value of using OPA to detect and assess the severity of CAS and to define its use in stroke prevention.”
Every year, there are approximately 795,000 Americans who suffer a new or recurrent stroke, and about 137,000 of these people die as a result. Individuals with severe CAS are believed to be at higher risk of suffering stroke. Consequently, doctors would want to control the problem and treat CAS before more cases are reported. At present, there is no efficient test available to detect the disease and it doesn’t help that CAS remains asymptomatic.
The U.S Preventive Services Task Force had likewise performed a research review which indicated that if an efficient screening test for CAS were available, the incidence of stroke and fatalities due to stroke could be substantially reduced.