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Circ J. 2014;78(6):1414-9. Epub 2014 Apr 3.

Pathophysiological contribution of vascular function to baroreflex regulation in hypertension.

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Second Department of Internal Medicine, Tokyo Medical University.



We examined which pathophysiological abnormalities of vascular function might be closely associated with abnormal baroreflex regulation in subjects with hypertension.


In the cross-sectional assessment, 280 subjects with hypertension were enrolled for measurement of brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity (baPWV), radial augmentation index (rAI), flow-mediated vasodilatation (FMD) of the brachial artery and baroreceptor sensitivity (BRS). These parameters were measured again as prospective assessment in some of these subjects. In the cross-sectional assessment, after adjustment for confounding variables including anti-hypertensive medication, the baPWV, but not the rAI or FMD, was found to have a significant independent relationship with BRS (standardization coefficient, -0.149, P<0.043). In the subjects who were newly started on anti-hypertensive medication (n=40), regression of baPWV before and 1 year after the start of medication was significantly associated with change in BRS during the same period. In subjects already on anti-hypertensive medication (n=92) also, the evolutional change of baPWV over a follow-up period >1.5 years was significantly associated with change in BRS during the same period.


Increased stiffness of the large- to middle-sized arteries, rather than abnormal central hemodynamics or endothelial dysfunction, appears to contribute to abnormal baroreflex regulation in patients with hypertension.

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