How to Measure Arterial Stiffness in Humans

Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2020 May;40(5):1034-1043. doi: 10.1161/ATVBAHA.119.313132. Epub 2019 Dec 26.


Despite the wide recognition of larger artery stiffness as a highly clinically relevant and independent prognostic biomarker, it has yet be incorporated into routine clinical practice and to take a more prominent position in clinical guidelines. An important reason may be the plethora of methods and devices claiming to measure arterial stiffness in humans. This brief review provides a concise overview of methods in use, indicating strengths and weaknesses. We classified and graded methods, highly weighing their scrutiny and purity in quantifying arterial stiffness, rather than focusing on their ease of application or the level at which methods have demonstrated their prognostic and diagnostic potential.

Keywords: aorta; arterioles; collagen; homeostasis; prognosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arterial Pressure
  • Arteries / diagnostic imaging*
  • Arteries / physiopathology
  • Blood Pressure Determination*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / physiopathology
  • Elasticity
  • Elasticity Imaging Techniques*
  • Humans
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Pulse Wave Analysis*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Vascular Stiffness*