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Arterial stiffness, central hemodynamics, and cardiovascular risk in hypertension

Authors Palatini P, Casiglia, Gasowski J, Gluszek J, Jankowski, Narkiewicz, Saladini, Stolarz-Skrzypek, Tikhonoff, Van Bortel, Wojciechowska, Kawecka-Jaszcz K

Published 7 December 2011 Volume 2011:7 Pages 725—739

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/VHRM.S25270

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3


Paolo Palatini1, Edoardo Casiglia1, Jerzy Gąsowski2, Jerzy Głuszek3, Piotr Jankowski4, Krzysztof Narkiewicz5, Francesca Saladini1, Katarzyna Stolarz-Skrzypek4, Valérie Tikhonoff1, Luc Van Bortel6, Wiktoria Wojciechowska4, Kalina Kawecka-Jaszcz4
1Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Padova, Padua, Italy; 2Department of Internal Medicine and Gerontology, Jagiellonian University Medical College, Kraków, Poland; 3Department of Arterial Hypertension, University Hospital, Poznan, Poland; 4First Department of Cardiology and Hypertension, Jagiellonian University Medical College, Kraków, Poland; 5Department of Hypertension and Diabetology, Medical University of Gdansk, Gdansk, Poland; 6Heymans Institute of Pharmacology, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium

Abstract: This review summarizes several scientific contributions at the recent Satellite Symposium of the European Society of Hypertension, held in Milan, Italy. Arterial stiffening and its hemodynamic consequences can be easily and reliably measured using a range of noninvasive techniques. However, like blood pressure (BP) measurements, arterial stiffness should be measured carefully under standardized patient conditions. Carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity has been proposed as the gold standard for arterial stiffness measurement and is a well recognized predictor of adverse cardiovascular outcome. Systolic BP and pulse pressure in the ascending aorta may be lower than pressures measured in the upper limb, especially in young individuals. A number of studies suggest closer correlation of end-organ damage with central BP than with peripheral BP, and central BP may provide additional prognostic information regarding cardiovascular risk. Moreover, BP-lowering drugs can have differential effects on central aortic pressures and hemodynamics compared with brachial BP. This may explain the greater beneficial effect provided by newer antihypertensive drugs beyond peripheral BP reduction. Although many methodological problems still hinder the wide clinical application of parameters of arterial stiffness, these will likely contribute to cardiovascular assessment and management in future clinical practice. Each of the abovementioned parameters reflects a different characteristic of the atherosclerotic process, involving functional and/or morphological changes in the vessel wall. Therefore, acquiring simultaneous measurements of different parameters of vascular function and structure could theoretically enhance the power to improve risk stratification. Continuous technological effort is necessary to refine our methods of investigation in order to detect early arterial abnormalities. Arterial stiffness and its consequences represent the great challenge of the twenty-first century for affluent countries, and “de-stiffening” will be the goal of the next decades.

Keywords: arterial elasticity, stiffness, compliance, central blood pressure, pulse wave velocity

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