Automated pulse wave velocity assessment using a professional oscillometric office blood pressure monitor

J Clin Hypertens (Greenwich). 2020 Oct;22(10):1817-1823. doi: 10.1111/jch.13966. Epub 2020 Aug 6.


Carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (cfPWV) is the gold standard method for assessing arterial stiffness. This study evaluated automated brachial-ankle PWV (baPWV) taken by a professional oscillometric blood pressure monitor (Microlife WatchBP Office Vascular) versus reference cfPWV (Complior device). Subjects recruited from a hypertension outpatient clinic had duplicate baPWV and cfPWV measurements (randomized crossover design) and carotid ultrasonography. Of 102 subjects recruited, 101 had valid baPWV measurements. Four subjects were excluded and 97 were analyzed (age 58.3 ± 11.4 years, men 70%, hypertensives 76%, diabetics 17%, cardiovascular disease 10%, smokers 23%). The mean difference between baPWV (13.1 ± 1.8 m/s) and cfPWV (9.1 ± 1.8 m/s) was 4.0 ± 1.4 m/s (P < .01) with close association between them (r = 0.70, P < .01). baPWV and cfPWV were correlated with age (r 0.54/0.49 respectively), systolic blood pressure (0.45/0.50), carotid intima-media thickness (0.31/0.44), and carotid distensibility coefficient (-0.47/-0.34) (all P < .05; no difference between the two methods, z test). There was reasonable agreement (77%) between the two methods in identifying subjects at the top quartile of their distributions (kappa 0.39, P < .01). The areas under the receiver operating characteristic curves for the identification of carotid plaques were comparable for cfPWV and baPWV (0.79 and 0.74 respectively, P = NS). Automated baPWV measurement by a professional oscillometric blood pressure monitor is feasible and observer-independent. baPWV values differ from those by cfPWV, yet they are closely correlated, have reasonable agreement in detecting increased arterial stiffness and give similar associations with carotid stiffness and atherosclerosis.

Keywords: arterial stiffness; automated; brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity; validation.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Blood Pressure
  • Blood Pressure Monitors*
  • Carotid Intima-Media Thickness
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Humans
  • Hypertension* / diagnosis
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pulse Wave Analysis / instrumentation*
  • Vascular Stiffness*