Arterial stiffness indexes in acute ischemic stroke: relationship with stroke subtype

Atherosclerosis. 2010 Jul;211(1):187-94. doi: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2010.02.010. Epub 2010 Feb 18.


Introduction: No study has evaluated both arterial stiffness indexes (PWV and Aix) in patients with an acute cerebrovascular event. The aim of our study was to evaluate arterial stiffness indexes in subjects with acute ischemic stroke and to evaluate the relationship between these indexes and other clinical and laboratory variables.

Materials and methods: We enrolled all consecutive patients with a diagnosis of acute ischemic stroke admitted to the Internal Medicine Department at the University of Palermo between November 2006 and January 2009, and hospitalized control patients without a diagnosis of acute ischemic stroke. The type of acute ischemic stroke was classified according to the TOAST classification. Carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (PWV) was evaluated by Applanation tonometry (SphygmoCor) and the aortic pressure waveform was used to calculate the Augmentation index (Aix).

Results: We enrolled 107 patients with acute ischemic stroke and 102 control subjects matched for age, sex, cardiovascular risk factors and previous cardiovascular morbidity. Stroke patients, compared to subjects without acute ischemic stroke, showed a higher mean Aix (103+/-3.5 mmHg vs. 99+/-4.6 mmHg) and PWV (11.8+/-3.3 m/s vs. 10.02+/-2.29 m/s). Augmentation Index and PWV values in lacunar subjects were significantly higher compared to values observed in LAAS, CEI and subtypes.

Discussion: Our study shows that patients with acute ischemic stroke show higher arterial stiffness index values. Among stroke patients, lacunar subtype has the highest arterial stiffness indexes. This finding underlines previous data regarding the strict association between hypertension and diabetes and arterial stiffness, owing the higher percentage of hypertensive and diabetic subjects in the lacunar group.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Arteries / physiopathology
  • Blood Flow Velocity
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pulsatile Flow
  • Risk
  • Stroke / classification
  • Stroke / physiopathology*
  • Vascular Resistance*