Aortic Arch Pulse Wave Velocity Assessed by Magnetic Resonance Imaging as a Predictor of Incident Cardiovascular Events: The MESA (Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis)

Hypertension. 2017 Sep;70(3):524-530. doi: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.116.08749. Epub 2017 Jul 3.


The predictive value of aortic arch pulse wave velocity (PWV) assessed by magnetic resonance imaging for cardiovascular disease (CVD) events has not been fully established. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the association of arch PWV with incident CVD events in MESA (Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis). Aortic arch PWV was measured using magnetic resonance imaging at baseline in 3527 MESA participants (mean age, 62±10 years at baseline; 47% men) free of overt CVD. Cox regression was used to evaluate the risk of incident CVD (coronary heart disease, stroke, transient ischemic attack, or heart failure) in relation to arch PWV adjusted for age, sex, race, and CVD risk factors. The median value of arch PWV was 7.4 m/s (interquartile range, 5.6-10.2). There was significant interaction between arch PWV and age for outcomes, so analysis was stratified by age categories (45-54 and >54 years). There were 456 CVD events during the 10-year follow-up. Forty-five to 54-year-old participants had significant association of arch PWV with incident CVD independent of CVD risk factors (hazard ratio, 1.44; 95% confidence interval, 1.07-1.95; P=0.018; per 1-SD increase for logarithmically transformed PWV), whereas >54-year group did not (P=0.93). Aortic arch PWV assessed by magnetic resonance imaging is a significant predictor of CVD events among middle-aged (45-54 years old) individuals, whereas arch PWV is not associated with CVD among an elderly in a large multiethnic population.

Keywords: cardiovascular diseases; coronary artery disease; heart failure; pulse wave analysis; vascular stiffness.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aorta, Thoracic* / diagnostic imaging
  • Aorta, Thoracic* / physiopathology
  • Atherosclerosis* / diagnosis
  • Atherosclerosis* / ethnology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases* / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases* / physiopathology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases* / prevention & control
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Prospective Studies
  • Pulse Wave Analysis / methods*
  • Risk Factors
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Vascular Stiffness / physiology