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Clin Med Insights Circ Respir Pulm Med. 2011;5:49-56. doi: 10.4137/CCRPM.S7757. Epub 2011 Sep 19.

Arterial stiffness in lower limb amputees.

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Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Agostinho Neto University, Luanda, Angola.



A high carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (PWV) has been related to increased cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, but has not been previously evaluated in amputees. The aim of this study was to compare PWV between amputees and nonamputees.


In this cross-sectional study, data were collected from 60 male lower limb amputees and 86 male age-matched nonamputees. PWV was measured noninvasively using a Complior(®) device. All participants underwent laboratory investigations and anthropometry. The difference in PWV between amputee and nonamputees was estimated. Multivariate regression was used to adjust for differences between the groups as a result of potential confounders.


PWV was higher in amputees than in nonamputees (10.8 ± 1.9 m/sec versus 9.9 ± 1.8 m/sec, P = 0.008, respectively). This difference remained even after adjusting for confounding factors.


A higher PWV was demonstrated in lower limb amputees. Routine assessment of PWV may contribute to cardiovascular risk stratification in amputees.


arterial stiffness; cardiovascular risk; hypertension; lower limb amputees

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