Measurement of the local aortic stiffness by a non-invasive bioelectrical impedance technique

Med Biol Eng Comput. 2011 Apr;49(4):431-9. doi: 10.1007/s11517-011-0741-3. Epub 2011 Feb 1.


Aortic stiffness measurement is well recognized as an independent predictor of cardiovascular mortality and morbidity. Recently, a simple method has been proposed for the evaluation of the local aortic stiffness (AoStiff) using a non-invasive bioelectrical impedance (BI) technique. This approach relies on a novel interpretation of the arterial stiffness where AoStiff is computed from the measurement of two new BI variables: (1) the local aortic flow resistance (AoRes) exerted by the drag forces onto the flow; (2) the local aortic wall distensibility (AoDist). Herein, we propose to detail and compare these three indices with the reference pulse wave velocity (PWV) measurement and the direct assessment of the aortic drag forces (DF) and distensibility (DS) obtained by the magnetic resonance imaging technique. Our results show a significant correlation between AoStiff and PWV (r = 0.79; P < 0.0001; 120 patients at rest; mean age 44 ± 16 years), and also between AoRes and DF (r = 0.95; P = 0.0011) and between AoDist and DS (r = 0.93; P = 0.0022) on eight patients at rest (mean age 52 ± 19 years). These first results suggest that local aortic stiffness can be explored reliably by the BI technique.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Algorithms
  • Aorta / physiopathology*
  • Cardiography, Impedance / methods*
  • Electrophysiologic Techniques, Cardiac / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Cardiovascular
  • Signal Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Vascular Stiffness / physiology*