Aortic diameter, wall stiffness, and wave reflection in systolic hypertension

Gary F Mitchell, Paul R Conlin, Mark E Dunlap, Yves Lacourcière, J Malcolm O Arnold, Richard I Ogilvie, Joel Neutel, Joseph L Izzo, Marc A Pfeffer
Hypertension 2008, 51 (1): 105-11
Systolic hypertension is associated with increased pulse pressure (PP) and increased risk for adverse cardiovascular outcomes. However the pathogenesis of increased PP remains controversial. One hypothesis suggests that aortic dilatation, wall stiffening and increased pulse wave velocity result from elastin fragmentation, leading to a premature reflected pressure wave that contributes to elevated PP. An alternative hypothesis suggests that increased proximal aortic stiffness and reduced aortic diameter leads to mismatch between pressure and flow, giving rise to an increased forward pressure wave and increased PP. To evaluate these two hypotheses, we measured pulsatile hemodynamics and proximal aortic diameter directly using tonometry, ultrasound imaging, and Doppler in 167 individuals with systolic hypertension. Antihypertensive medications were withdrawn for at least 1 week before study. Patients with PP above the median (75 mm Hg) had lower aortic diameter (2.94+/-0.36 versus 3.13+/-0.28 cm, P<0.001) and higher aortic wall stiffness (elastance-wall stiffness product: 16.1+/-0.7 versus 15.7+/-0.7 ln[dyne/cm], P<0.001) with no difference in augmentation index (19.9+/-10.4 versus 17.5+/-10.0%, P=0.12). Aortic diameter and wall stiffness both increased with advancing age (P<0.001). However, an inverse relation between PP and aortic diameter remained significant (P<0.001) in models that adjusted for age, sex, height, and weight and then further adjusted for aortic wall stiffness, augmentation index, and mean arterial pressure. Among individuals with systolic hypertension, increased PP is primarily attributable to increased wall stiffness and reduced aortic diameter rather than premature wave reflection.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"