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Expert consensus document on the measurement of aortic stiffness in daily practice using carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity

Van Bortel, Luc M.a; Laurent, Stephaneb; Boutouyrie, Pierreb; Chowienczyk, Philc; Cruickshank, J.K.d; De Backer, Tinea; Filipovsky, Jane; Huybrechts, Sofiea; Mattace-Raso, Francesco U.S.f; Protogerou, Athanase D.g; Schillaci, Giuseppeh; Segers, Patricki; Vermeersch, Sebastiana; Weber, Thomasjon behalf of the Artery Society, the European Society of Hypertension Working Group on Vascular Structure and Function and the European Network for Noninvasive Investigation of Large Arteries

doi: 10.1097/HJH.0b013e32834fa8b0

Stiffness of elastic arteries like the aorta predicts cardiovascular risk. By directly reflecting arterial stiffness, having the best predictive value for cardiovascular outcome and the ease of its measurement, carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity is now considered the gold standard for arterial stiffness assessment in daily practice. Many different measurement procedures have been proposed. Therefore, standardization of its measurement is urgently needed, particularly regarding the distance measurement. This consensus document advises on the measurement procedures in general and provides arguments for the use of 80% of the direct carotid-femoral distance as the most accurate distance estimate. It also advises the use of 10 m/s as new cut-off value for carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity.

aHeymans Institute of Pharmacology, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium

bDepartment of Pharmacology and INSERM U970, Hôpital Européen Georges Pompidou, Paris-Descartes University, Paris, France

cCardiovascular Division, Department of Clinical Pharmacology, King's College London British Heart Foundation Centre

dKing's College London, Diabetes, Nutrition and Cardiovascular Divisions, St. Thomas’ Hospital, London, UK

eSecond Department of Internal Medicine, Medical Faculty and University Hospital, Charles University, Pilsen, Czech Republic

fDepartment of Internal Medicine, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

gHypertension Center, 1st Department of Propaedeutic and Internal Medicine, Laiko Hospital, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece

hUnit of Internal Medicine, Angiology and Arteriosclerotic Disease, University of Perugia Medical School, Hospital 'S. Maria della Misericordia’, Perugia, Italy

iIBiTech-bioMMeda, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium

jCardiology Department, Klinikum Wels-Grieskirchen, Wels, Austria

Correspondence to Professor Luc M. Van Bortel, MD, PhD, Clinical Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapy, Heymans Institute of Pharmacology, Ghent University, Drug Research Unit Ghent (D.R.U.G.), Ghent University Hospital De Pintelaan 185, 9000 Ghent, Belgium. Tel: +32 9 332 5800; fax: +32 9 332 8959; e-mail:

Abbreviation: PWV, pulse wave velocity

Received 11 November, 2011

Accepted 24 November, 2011

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.