Increased augmentation index in patients with cystic fibrosis

Eur Respir J. 2009 Dec;34(6):1322-8. doi: 10.1183/09031936.00044009. Epub 2009 Jul 16.


Increased large artery stiffness occurs in a range of inflammatory conditions indicating an ageing of the vasculature and additionally being an independent risk factor for cardiovascular events. We determined large artery parameters in adults with cystic fibrosis (CF). 50 clinically stable adult patients with CF (mean+/-sd age 28.0+/-8.2 yrs) and 26 controls matched for age, sex and body mass index were studied. Central aortic blood pressure, augmentation index (AIx) and aortic pulse wave velocity (PWV) were determined using applanation tonometry. Lung function, diabetic status and C-reactive protein (CRP) were also determined. Mean+/-sd AIx was greater in patients than controls, 8.5+/-11.1% and -1.8+/-13.1%, respectively (p<0.001), while PWV was similar. Although AIx was greatest in the sub-group with CF-related diabetes (CFRD), it was also increased in the non-CFRD sub-group when compared with controls. In patients, AIx was related to log(10) CRP (r = 0.33) and forced vital capacity (r = -0.34; both p<0.05), and CRP remained predictive in multiple regression. AIx is increased in adults with CF, in the presence of a normal blood pressure and independent of diabetic status. AIx was related to the systemic inflammatory status. These findings have implications for management and require further exploration so that cardiovascular health can be maintained.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arteries / physiopathology*
  • Blood Flow Velocity
  • Blood Pressure
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cystic Fibrosis / diagnosis*
  • Cystic Fibrosis / physiopathology*
  • Diabetes Complications / diagnosis
  • Female
  • Hemodynamics
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Manometry / methods
  • Pulsatile Flow / physiology
  • Vital Capacity


  • C-Reactive Protein