Reduced vascular compliance as a marker for essential hypertension

Gary E. McVeigh, Durand E. Burns, Stanley M. Einkelstein, Kenneth M. McDonald, James E. Mock, William Eeske, Peter F. Carlyle, John Flack, Richard Grimm, Jay N. Cohn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

130 Scopus citations


In 38 patients with established essential hyperten­sion and 32 age-matched normotensive control sub­jects proximal and distal arterial compliance were determined by computer-based assessment of the diastolic decay of a brachial arterial tracing and a modified Windkessel model of the circulation. In the hypertensive subjects compared to the normo­tensive subjects mean arterial pressure was 25% higher (P <.001), systemic vascular resistance 23% higher (P <.01), proximal compliance 19% lower (P <.01), and distal compliance 72% lower (P <.001). The reduction in distal compliance was highly age- dependent. In the youngest age range (45 to 54 years) little overlap appeared between hypertensive and normotensive groups, whereas in the oldest subjects studied (65 to 75 years) distal compliance was comparably low in the two groups. Thus, distal vascular compliance provides a sensitive and spe­cific marker for the abnormal vasculature associated with hypertension and may be particularly useful in identifying the disease in young individuals with borderline blood pressure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)245-251
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican journal of hypertension
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1991

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was done during William Feske's tenure on an American Heart Association—MinnesotaMedical Foundation Medical Student Research Fellowship.

Funding Information:
Supported in part by Program Project Grant #P0 1 HL17871 from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

Funding Information:
This work was done during Dr. McVeigh's tenure of a Senior Fulbright Scholarship and a British-American Research Fellowship of the American Heart Association and the British Heart Foundation.


  • Hypertension
  • Pulse contour analysis
  • Vascular compliance
  • Vascular resistance


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