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Hypertension. 2003 May;41(5):1016-20. Epub 2003 Apr 14.

Pressure wave reflection assessed from the peripheral pulse: is a transfer function necessary?

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1
Department of Clinical Pharmacology, St Thomas' Hospital, Lambeth Palace Road, London SE1 7EH, UK.

Abstract

Synthesis of the aortic pressure waveform by application of a transfer function to the radial pulse allows the estimation of aortic systolic blood pressure and aortic augmentation index, an index of pressure wave reflection derived from the early systolic component of the waveform. The accuracy of this approach for determining the aortic augmentation index has been questioned, however, and it may be possible to derive similar information without using a transfer function. We compared aortic systolic blood pressure and the aortic augmentation index obtained from carotid and radial arteries with the use of transfer functions. We examined the correlation between the aortic augmentation index and a radial augmentation index obtained without use of a transfer function. Arterial tonometry (Sphygmocor) was performed in 84 subjects including healthy volunteers (n=30), subjects with essential hypertension (n=30), and patients with coronary artery disease (n=24). Effects of nitroglycerine and norepinephrine on aortic and radial augmentation index were examined in 12 healthy volunteers. Values of aortic systolic pressure obtained from radial and carotid arteries by using transfer functions were in acceptable agreement (R=0.98, difference=-0.9+/-4.6 mm Hg; mean+/-SD, n=84), but those of aortic augmentation index differed especially in control subjects (R=0.47, difference=-3.8+/-12.4%). Aortic augmentation index was, however, closely correlated with radial augmentation index (R=0.96, n=84). Nitroglycerine and norepinephrine produced parallel changes in the aortic and radial augmentation index. Our findings question the use of a transfer function to obtain the aortic augmentation index but suggest that similar information on central pressure wave reflection can be obtained directly from the radial pulse.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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