Assessment of arterial stiffness in periodontitis using a novel pulse wave imaging methodology

J Clin Periodontol. 2017 May;44(5):502-510. doi: 10.1111/jcpe.12717. Epub 2017 Apr 27.


Aim: We investigated the cross-sectional relationship between periodontal status and arterial stiffness, assessed through a novel Pulse Wave Imaging methodology.

Methods: Eighty volunteers were enrolled (39% male, age range 24-78 years) and 33 pairs were formed of periodontitis patients/periodontally healthy controls, matched by age and gender. A full-mouth periodontal examination was performed and the degree of stiffness of the right and left carotid arteries was assessed by measuring pulse wave velocity (PWV) and the uniformity in pulse wave propagation (R2 ). Wilcoxon signed-rank tests for paired observations were used to compare periodontitis patients and healthy controls. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to analyze the association between PWV and R2 and potential explanatory variables.

Results: Patients with periodontitis had a statistically significantly lower uniformity in wave propagation (R2 ) than controls (p = .01), but PWV did not differ between the two groups. Univariate analysis showed a significant negative association between R2 and periodontitis, body mass index and smoking; periodontitis remained statistically associated with R2 in the multivariate analyses.

Conclusions: Patients with periodontitis and no established cardiovascular disease presented with lower degree of uniformity in the transmission of the pulse wave through the carotid arteries, suggesting an association between periodontitis and arterial stiffness/functional alterations.

Keywords: atherosclerosis; cardiovascular; periodontal; pulse wave velocity.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Blood Pressure
  • Body Mass Index
  • Carotid Arteries / physiology
  • Chronic Periodontitis / physiopathology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pulse Wave Analysis
  • Smoking
  • Vascular Stiffness*
  • Young Adult