Brachial-ankle vs carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity as a determinant of cardiovascular structure and function

J Hum Hypertens. 2008 Jan;22(1):24-31. doi: 10.1038/sj.jhh.1002259. Epub 2007 Jun 28.


Carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (cf-PWV) is a validated marker of arterial stiffening over the central arteries. Brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity (ba-PWV) integrates the mechanical properties from both the central and peripheral arteries and may be more representative than cf-PWV as arterial load for left ventricle (LV). We compared ba-PWV with cf-PWV for the association of cardiovascular structure and function in 320 subjects with various degrees of abnormality in cardiac structure and function. ba-PWV (by oscillometric technique) and cf-PWV (by tonometric technique) were measured simultaneously, and were highly correlated (r=0.79, P<0.001). Both ba-PWV and cf-PWV were significantly correlated with LV mass, but the correlation was better with ba-PWV (r=0.29 vs r=0.22, P=0.0219). While ba-PWV and cf-PWV were similarly significantly correlated with LV end-systolic elastance and mitral E/A ratio, ba-PWV had better correlation with isovolumic relaxation constant (r=0.34 vs r=0.27, P=0.0202) than cf-PWV. In addition, the correlation was also significantly stronger with ba-PWV than with cf-PWV for other indices of arterial stiffness, including carotid incremental modulus (r=0.59 vs 0.50, P=0.0013), effective arterial elastance (r=0.41 vs r=0.33, P=0.0081) and carotid augmentation index (r=0.38 vs r=0.32, P=0.0368). In conclusion, ba-PWV correlates better with LV mass and diastolic function and other indices of arterial function than cf-PWV, probably because ba-PWV encompasses a greater territory of arterial tree than cf-PWV.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Arteries / physiopathology
  • Blood Flow Velocity*
  • Brachial Artery
  • Cardiovascular Abnormalities / diagnosis*
  • Cardiovascular Abnormalities / physiopathology
  • Carotid Arteries
  • Diagnosis, Computer-Assisted*
  • Echocardiography
  • Elasticity
  • Female
  • Femoral Artery
  • Heart / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Reproducibility of Results