Arterial wave reflections and incident cardiovascular events and heart failure: MESA (Multiethnic Study of Atherosclerosis)

Julio A. Chirinos, Jan G. Kips, David R Jacobs Jr, Lyndia Brumback, Daniel Duprez, Richard Kronmal, David A. Bluemke, Raymond R. Townsend, Sebastian Vermeersch, Patrick Segers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

338 Scopus citations


Objectives: This study sought to assess the relationship between central pressure profiles and cardiovascular events (CVEs) in a large community-based sample. Background: Experimental and physiologic data mechanistically implicate wave reflections in the pathogenesis of left ventricular failure and cardiovascular disease, but their association with these outcomes in the general population is unclear. Methods: Aortic pressure waveforms were derived from a generalized transfer function applied to the radial pressure waveform recorded noninvasively from 5,960 participants in the Multiethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. The central pressure waveform was separated into forward and reflected waves using a physiologic flow waveform. Reflection magnitude (RM = [Reflected/Forward wave amplitude] × 100), augmentation index ([Second/First systolic peak] × 100) and pulse pressure amplification ([Radial/aortic pulse pressure] × 100) were assessed as predictors of CVEs and congestive heart failure (CHF) during a median follow-up of 7.61 years. Results: After adjustment for established risk factors, aortic AIx independently predicted hard CVEs (hazard ratio [HR] per 10% increase: 1.08; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.01 to 1.14; p = 0.016), whereas PPA independently predicted all CVEs (HR per 10% increase: 0.82; 95% CI: 0.70 to 0.96; p = 0.012). RM was independently predictive of all CVEs (HR per 10% increase: 1.34; 95% CI: 1.08 to 1.67; p = 0.009) and hard CVEs (HR per 10% increase: 1.46; 95% CI: 1.12 to 1.90; p = 0.006) and was strongly predictive of new-onset CHF (HR per 10% increase: 2.69; 95% CI: 1.79 to 4.04; p < 0.0001), comparing favorably to other risk factors for CHF as per various measures of model performance, reclassification, and discrimination. In a fully adjusted model, compared to nonhypertensive subjects with low RM, the HRs (95% CI) for hypertensive subjects with low RM, nonhypertensive subjects with high RM, and hypertensive subjects with high RM were 1.81 (0.85 to 3.86), 2.16 (1.07 to 5.01), and 3.98 (1.96 to 8.05), respectively. Conclusions: Arterial wave reflections represent a novel strong risk factor for CHF in the general population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2170-2177
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American College of Cardiology
Issue number21
StatePublished - 2012


  • arterial hemodynamics
  • cardiovascular risk
  • heart failure
  • left ventricular afterload
  • wave reflections


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