Aortic Pulse Wave Velocity May Have Prognostic Value Not Just for Hypertension but Also for Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms
To the Editor:
A recent systematic review concluded that the carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (cfPWV) is associated with hypertension but not with other vascular risk factors.1
We recently demonstrated that cfPWV is decreased in patients with abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs).2 In normal aortas, the propagation of the pulse wave is relatively uniform along the wall. Because of the AAA, the smooth continuity of the aorta is distorted, and pulse waves propagate more slowly. After the resection of the AAA and the placement of a bifurcated graft, cfPWV values improved (from 7.84±1.85 m/s preoperatively to 10.08±1.85 m/s 6 months postoperatively; P<0.0001).2
The results of our pilot study2 and of an experimental model3 suggest that cfPWV may be a marker of aortic wall instability or AAA rupture risk, although these results need to be confirmed. Therefore, cfPWV may be influenced by aortic structure (eg, AAA), as well as by hypertension and age.1
Cecelja M, Chowienczyk P. Dissociation of aortic pulse wave velocity with risk factors for cardiovascular disease other than hypertension: a systematic review. Hypertension. 2009; 54: 1328–1336.
Paraskevas KI, Bessias N, Psathas C, Akridas K, Dragios T, Nikitas G, Andrikopoulos V, Mikhailidis DP, Kyriakides ZS. Evaluation of aortic stiffness (aortic pulse-wave velocity) before and after elective abdominal aortic aneurysm repair procedures: a pilot study. Open Cardiovasc Med J. 2009; 3: 173–175.