What is your MicroVascular Health Score and why do you need to know it?
A healthy microvascular system is important to provide nutrients and oxygen to all the cells in our body and remove waste products away from our organs.
Nutrients and oxygen enter the blood via the intestinal system and lungs respectively and are distributed to our organs via the large arterial blood vessels. Inside the organs, delivery of nutrients and oxygen from blood to tissue cells occurs in the smallest blood vessels that are very close to individual tissue cells. These microvessels are imaged by the GlycoCheck system and a number of important parameters are measured to be able to determine the health of the microvascular system.
Researchers and physicians can now quantify capillary density, capillary blood volume, blood flow and red cell velocity, and endothelial glycocalyx function with non-invasive technology. A healthy microvascular system should have a sufficient number of microvessels that facilitate blood flow to the tissue cells.
To maintain a healthy microvascular system and to prevent loss of microvessels, the microvascular system is coated on the inside of each individual microvessel with a protective gel-lining, called the GLYCOCALYX. This protective coating prevents blood cells from sticking to the wall and fluid from leaking through the walls of microvessels. The GlycoCheck system measures how deep red blood cells can penetrate into the protective glycocalyx coating, which is reflected in the PBR value. A high value means deeper penetration and more damage of the glycocalyx lining.
Overall health of the microvascular system is represented by the MVHS Score (MicroVascular Health Score) that is calculated from capillary blood volume, red cell velocity, and PBR (lower values are better).
Guidelines for Glycocalyx Assessment
- Do not eat for 4 hours prior to testing.
- Do not exercise for 12 hours prior to testing.
- Do not consume alcohol for 24 hours prior to testing.
- Drink at least 1 quart of water 1 hour before your test.
- Do not drink caffeine the day of your test.
- 15–20 minutes of rest (to reduce level of stress) before your test.