Pulse wave velocity and the non-invasive methods used to assess it: Complior, SphygmoCor, Arteriograph and Vicorder

Vascular. 2012 Dec;20(6):342-9. doi: 10.1258/vasc.2011.ra0054. Epub 2012 Sep 7.


Pulse wave velocity (PWV) is a known indicator of arterial stiffness and cardiovascular risk. We critically evaluated the evidence supporting the four main non-invasive devices available to assess it: Complior, SphygmoCor, Arteriograph and Vicorder. PubMed and Medline databases (1960-2011) were searched to identify studies reporting carotid-femoral PWV in humans using one or more of the four devices. Of the 183 articles retrieved, 43 met inclusion criteria. The Arteriograph device demonstrated least variance but had poor agreement with the other devices. Undisputable reference values for PWV need to be established and internationally agreed, and a standardized method for superficial distance measurement generated to reduce variability. Further studies comparing all four devices with invasive assessment are necessary.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Arteries / physiopathology*
  • Equipment Design
  • Hemodynamics
  • Humans
  • Models, Cardiovascular
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Pulse Wave Analysis / instrumentation*
  • Pulse Wave Analysis / standards
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Vascular Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Vascular Diseases / physiopathology
  • Vascular Stiffness*