Functional and structural changes of the arterial wall appear to serve as early hallmarks of the hypertensive disease process. Structural vascular changes can be studied by the determination of the intima-media wall thickness (IMT) at the carotid artery. The elastic behavior of the proximal and distal parts of the arterial tree can be assessed from noninvasively recorded radial artery waveforms. The aim of the study was to compare large (proximal, C1) and small (distal, C2) artery elasticity indices in two age-matched study groups with high- and low-normal blood pressure (BP) and to assess the relation between elasticity indices and IMT. A total number of 22 subjects with high-normal BP (40 ± 2 years; BP, 147 ± 2.5/84 ± 1.5 mm Hg) and 22 matched controls with low-normal BP (40 ± 2 years; BP, 123 ± 1.9/69 ± 1.5 mm Hg) were enrolled. The IMT was echographically determined at the common carotid artery by the leading-edge technique. Large artery (C1) and small artery (C2) elasticity indices were calculated from a third order, four-element model of the arterial circulation. In the group with high-normal BP large and small artery elasticity indices were significantly decreased versus controls with low-normal BP (C1: 1.63 ± 0.08 v 1.99 ± 0.09 mL/mm Hg, P < .01; C2:0.059 ± 0.005 v 0.076 ± 0.007 mL/mm Hg, P < .05) and IMT increased significantly (0.607 ± 0.039 v 0.516 ± 0.027 mm, P < .05). Moreover, there was an inverse relationship between IMT and small artery elasticity index (r = -0.60, P = .004). In subjects with a high-normal BP there is already a change in the IMT of the carotid artery versus normotension. The IMT is related to the small artery elasticity index (C2). (C) 2000 American Journal of Hypertension, Ltd.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study has been supported in part by the interfacultary concerted action no. GOA 95/003.
Copyright 2007 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.
- Arterial blood pressure
- Arterial compliance
- Carotid artery
- Elasticity index
- Intima-media thickness