Cardio-ankle vascular index (CAVI) as a novel indicator of arterial stiffness: theory, evidence and perspectives

J Atheroscler Thromb. 2011;18(11):924-38. doi: 10.5551/jat.7716. Epub 2011 May 31.


The cardio-ankle vascular index (CAVI) is a new index of the overall stiffness of the artery from the origin of the aorta to the ankle. The most conspicuous feature of CAVI is its independence of blood pressure at the time of measurement.CAVI increases with age and in many arteriosclerotic diseases, such as coronary artery disease, carotid arteriosclerosis, chronic kidney disease and cerebrovascular disease, and is related to many coronary risk factors, such as hypertension, diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia and smoking. Furthermore, CAVI decreases by controlling diabetes mellitus and hypertension, and also by abstaining from smoking. This suggests that CAVI is a physiological surrogate marker of athero- or arteriosclerosis, and also might be an indicator of lifestyle modification.Recently, it has been reported that CAVI and several left ventricular functions are co-related, suggesting a connection between the heart muscle and vascular function.This review covers the principles of CAVI and our current knowledge about CAVI, focusing on its roles and future outlook.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Ankle / blood supply*
  • Ankle / physiopathology
  • Arteries / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Vascular Stiffness*