Pulse wave velocity (PWV) and pulse pressure (PP) are blood pressure (BP)-dependent surrogates for vascular stiffness. Considering that there are no clinically useful markers for arterial stiffness that are BP-independent, our objective was to identify novel indices of arterial stiffness and compare them with previously described markers. PWV and PP were measured in young and old male Fisher rats and in young and old male spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) over a wide range of BPs. The BP dependence of these and several other indices of vascular stiffness were evaluated. An index incorporating PWV and PP was also constructed. Both PWV and PP increase in a non-linear manner with rising BP for both strains of animals (Fisher and SHRs). Age markedly changes the relationship between PWV or PP and BP. The previously described Ambulatory Arterial Stiffness Index (AASI) was able to differentiate between young and old vasculature, whereas the Cardio-Ankle Vascular Index (CAVI) did not reliably differentiate between the two. The novel Arterial Stiffness Index (ASI) differentiated stiffer from more compliant vasculature. Considering the limitations of the currently available indices of arterial stiffness, we propose a novel index of intrinsic arterial stiffness, the ASI, which is robust over a range of BPs and allows one to distinguish between compliant and stiff vasculature in both Fisher rats and SHRs. Further studies are necessary to validate this index in other settings.
- pulse pressure
- pulse wave velocity
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine