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This Forearm Artery Shows Our Species Is Still Evolving

KEY POINTS

  • The study shows a significant increase in the prevalence of median artery in humans in the past 250 years
  • The artery usually disappears during developmental stages in the womb
  • Researchers say its prevalence in adults suggests that humans are still evolving

Humans are still evolving and are doing so at a faster rate than before, shows a new study. The evidence backing this “microevolution” can be found in people’s forearms.

When talking about evolution, people tend to think of it as something that happened in the past and perhaps of changes that are quite drastic such as aquatic creatures developing legs to walk on land. But a study by researchers from the University of Adelaide and Flinders University, both in Australia, found that humans are still evolving in small ways that are not easily observed.

The new study, published in the Journal of Anatomy, analyzed the prevalence of the median artery, the main vessel that supplies blood to the hand and forearm, in humans. It is considered as an “embryonic structure” developed in the womb, which eventually regresses, typically around the eighth week of gestation. But several past studies have observed the presence of the vessel in newborns, infants and even adults.

To determine the prevalence of the median artery in postnatal humans in the past 250 years, the researchers performed a comprehensive literature review. They also studied a sample of 78 upper limbs from Australians who died between the ages of 51 and 101 in 2015 and 2016. The team found a total of 26 median arteries, displaying a prevalence rate of 33.3%.

The study also revealed that the prevalence of the median artery in adults has been increasing at a faster rate than at any time in the last 250 years, a news release from the Flinders University said. In fact, the researchers found that the number of people retaining their median artery tripled in the last 125 years.

Forearm Pictured: Representative image of a man’s exposed forearm. Photo: Andreas Samuelsson/Pixabay

“Since the 18th century, anatomists have been studying the prevalence of this artery in adults and our study shows it’s clearly increasing,” study co-author Dr. Teghan Lucas of Flinders University said in the news release. “The prevalence was around 10% in people born in the mid-1880’s compared to 30% in those born in the late 20th century, so that’s a significant increase in a fairly short period of time, when it comes to evolution.”

This means, what was once a temporary feature in the womb is now present in more and more adults who retained it instead of losing it during development in the womb. 

“If extrapolated using the same regression line, could predict that the median artery will be present in 100% of individuals born in the year 2100 and later,” the researchers wrote. “That is approximately 250 years from the beginning of the artery’s first reported incidence as a ‘variant.'”

If the prevalence of the median artery reaches 50%, something that does not seem

Reflow Medical Receives Approval in Japan for the Wingman Catheter to Cross Chronic Total Occlusions (CTOs) in Peripheral Artery Disease

Reflow Medical, Inc., a California-based medical device company, announced that Japan’s Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency (PMDA) has approved the Wingman™ CTO Catheter. Reflow Medical has partnered with Century Medical, Inc. (CMI), a leading medical device distributor based in Tokyo, to introduce the Wingman CTO Catheter in Japan.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20201008005741/en/

Wingman CTO Catheter (Photo: Business Wire)

The Wingman Catheter crosses peripheral CTOs using an extendable beveled tip. The physician controls the advancement and activation of the tip to create a channel to help penetrate, or cross, the occlusion with a guidewire, enabling further treatment of the lesion with therapeutic devices. The catheter is compatible with the physician’s preferred guidewire and procedural technique.

Approval by Japan’s PMDA follows the completion of the Wing-IT CTO clinical trial, a prospective, international, multicenter study that treated 85 patients and followed them for 30 days. The Wingman Catheter was able to demonstrate a 90% crossing rate when up to two previous guidewires could not cross the CTOs, meeting its primary safety and efficacy endpoints.

“We are very excited to launch the Wingman CTO catheter in the Japanese market,” said CMI President and CEO Takahiko Motani. “This product should have a significant impact on the Japanese peripheral market by helping physicians address specific treatment challenges within a growing patient population. We look forward to providing this new and unique device in partnership with Reflow Medical, Inc.”

“Reflow Medical focuses their efforts on developing technologies based on physicians’ needs,” said John R. Laird, MD, of Adventist Heart and Vascular Institute in St. Helena, California. Dr. Laird was the principal investigator for the study. “We rely on Reflow for real clinical evidence when utilizing the technology.”

“It is an honor for our device to have gained approval by Japan’s PMDA,” noted Reflow Medical Co-founder and CEO Isa Rizk. “We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with a fantastic organization like Century Medical.”

Reflow’s Wingman Crossing Catheter received clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the expanded CTO indication for the Wingman Crossing Catheter in March 2020 after completing the Wing-IT clinical trial.

About Reflow Medical, Inc.

Reflow Medical, Inc. is a private company focused on empowering physicians through the design and development of innovative and effective technologies for cardiovascular disease. Reflow is developing a family of products to treat cardiovascular disease.

About Century Medical, Inc.

Century Medical, Inc. (CMI) is one of the largest independent medical device distributors in Japan, with more than 40 years of experience marketing medical devices. CMI has been a pioneering force, successfully introducing many new technologies to the Japanese healthcare community. Century Medical, Inc, is a wholly owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Corporation.

About Chronic Total Occlusions (CTO) in Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)

Chronic total occlusions (CTO) of the lower extremities are found in 40% of symptomatic peripheral artery disease (PAD) patients. Endovascular options for the treatment of a CTO can be complex; conventional wire and catheter technique have a