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Arterial stiffness as a noninvasive tissue biomarker of cardiac target organ damage

Authors Spartano N, Augustine J, Lefferts W, Hughes W, Garay Redmond J, Martin E, Kuvin J, Gump B, Heffernan K

Received 23 September 2013

Accepted for publication 7 November 2013

Published 28 January 2014 Volume 2014:4 Pages 23—34


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Nicole L Spartano,1 Jacqueline A Augustine,1 Wesley K Lefferts,1 William E Hughes,1 Jessica Garay Redmond,1 Eileen D Martin,1 Jeffrey T Kuvin,2 Brooks B Gump,3 Kevin S Heffernan1

1Department of Exercise Science, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY, USA; 2Division of Cardiology, Tufts Medical Center, Boston, MA, USA; 3Department of Public Health, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY, USA

Abstract: The primary prevention of cardiovascular (CV) disease is hindered by the inadequacy of traditional risk factors to stratify CV risk. The presence of cardiac target organ damage (cTOD), as detected by measures of left ventricular (LV) hypertrophy and dysfunction, is associated with future CV outcomes, but is not currently assessed in asymptomatic individuals. Arterial stiffness contributes to cTOD and may represent a biomarker that can detect vascular dysfunction before the clinical manifestations of cTOD. Measurement of arterial stiffness may provide insight into premature risk for cTOD and afford opportunity for early intervention to prevent further damage. The purpose of this review is to examine the utility of arterial stiffness as a noninvasive biomarker of subclinical cTOD. To this end, we will examine the evidence supporting the association between arterial stiffness and measures of cTOD. We will then explore the developmental origins of arterial stiffness and cTOD and outline the progression of CV damage that occurs with age. We discuss the mechanistic role of pressure from wave reflections as a crucial link between arterial stiffness and cTOD. Finally, we examine these associations in context by exploring sex and racial differences in arterial stiffness as related to cTOD. Our comprehensive examination of the literature suggests that early identification of arterial stiffness would be a useful biomarker of future cTOD risk.

Keywords: arterial stiffness, left ventricular hypertrophy, wave reflections, blood pressure

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