Background: The brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity (baPWV) is used to evaluate the degree of atherosclerosis and arterial distensibility, but its major limitation is that it is affected by changes in blood pressure (BP) during measurement. Recently, a new atherosclerotic index, the cardio-ankle vascular index (CAVI), has been developed by measuring PWV and BP. CAVI is adjusted for BP based on the stiffness parameter beta and should measure arterial stiffness independent of BP. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the validity of CAVI compared with baPWV, the reproducibility of the measurement of CAVI, and the effect of BP changes on CAVI and baPWV.
Methods and results: One thousand and thirty-three consecutive subjects undergoing health checkups were studied. CAVI was automatically calculated from the pulse volume record, BP, and the vascular length from heart to ankle. In this general population, both baPWV and CAVI demonstrated a positive correlation with age and systolic BP (SBP). CAVI showed a weaker correlation with SBP than baPWV. The measurement of CAVI demonstrated good reproducibility and was not affected by the increase in BP during measurement.
Conclusions: CAVI is a useful index of arterial distensibility and is not influenced by BP changes during measurement.