Comparison between carotid-femoral and brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity as measures of arterial stiffness

J Hypertens. 2009 Oct;27(10):2022-7. doi: 10.1097/HJH.0b013e32832e94e7.


Background: Arterial stiffness is an important risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (cfPWV) is the most recognized and established index of arterial stiffness. An emerging automatic measure of PWV primarily used in the Asian countries is brachial-ankle PWV (baPWV).

Method: To systematically compare these two methodologies, we conducted a multicenter study involving a total of 2287 patients.

Results: There was a significant positive relation between baPWV and cfPWV (r = 0.73). Average baPWV was approximately 20% higher than cfPWV. Both cfPWV and baPWV were significantly and positively associated with age (r = 0.56 and 0.64), systolic blood pressure (r = 0.49 and 0.61), and the Framingham risk score (r = 0.48 and 0.63). The areas under the receiver operating curves (ROCs) of PWV to predict the presence of both stroke and coronary artery disease were comparable between cfPWV and baPWV.

Conclusion: Collectively, these results indicate that cfPWV and baPWV are indices of arterial stiffness that exhibit similar extent of associations with cardiovascular disease risk factors and clinical events.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Ankle Brachial Index*
  • Blood Flow Velocity / physiology*
  • Carotid Arteries / physiology*
  • Coronary Artery Disease / diagnosis
  • Coronary Artery Disease / epidemiology
  • Coronary Artery Disease / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Femoral Artery / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / diagnosis
  • Hypertension / epidemiology
  • Hypertension / physiopathology*
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pulsatile Flow / physiology*
  • ROC Curve
  • Risk Factors
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Young Adult