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Clin Physiol Biochem. 1992;9(1):18-25.

Non-invasive assessments of compliance of the aortic wind-kessel in man derived from pulse pressure/storage volume ratio and from pulse wave velocity.

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Center for Cardiovascular Pharmacology, Mainz-Wiesbaden, Germany.


Two noninvasive methods for assessment of the compliance (1/E') of the aortic windkessel in man are presented and were tested for their ability to detect increases in stiffness of the aorta induced by atropine (0.012 and 0.024 mg/kg sequentially) in the presence and absence of a beta-blockade with propranolol 240 mg (n = 9). Method A, based on the calculation of the relation between pulse pressure and systolic storage volume of the aorta, requires measurement of blood pressure, systolic and diastolic time intervals and stroke volume. Method B, based on measurement of pulse wave velocity along the aorta also requires several anthropometric data (body surface area, age). Both methods were able to detect a dose-dependent increase in E' following atropine injections; method A has greater relative changes than method B. The average maximal increases were 90 and 40 percent of the baseline before atropine. The daily baselines of E' averaged 0.6 Torr x cm-3 for method A and 0.9 Torr x cm-3 for method B. Propranolol itself did not influence E' but dampened the atropine effects. The results from method A and B were correlated with r = 0.70 and 0.60 resp. (p < 0.01). The results suggest the use of these relatively simple techniques for evaluation of aortic compliance under influence of varying pathophysiological conditions or/and pharmacological interventions.

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