Reproducibility of pulse wave velocity and augmentation index measured by pulse wave analysis

IB Wilkinson*, SA Fuchs, IM Jansen, JC Spratt, GD Murray, J. K. Cockcroft, DJ Webb

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective The aim of this study was to determine the reproducibility of pulse wave velocity (PWV) and augmentation index (Alx) measured using pulse wave analysis (PWA), prior to its use in large-scale clinical trials.

Methods Arterial pressure waveforms were recorded and analysed using an established technique (Sphygmocor). Subjects with and without a range of recognized cardiovascular risk factors were studied to provide a wide range of values. Measurements were made after a brief introduction to the technique in a clinical setting. Two observers recorded aortic and brachial PWV in 24 subjects, each on two occasions, in a random order. In a separate study, two different observers used PWA to determine Air in 33 subjects, each on two occasions, in a random order. Data were analysed using Bland-Altman plots and presented as mean +/- SD.

Results Brachial PWV was 8.65 +/- 1.58 m/s (range 6.16-10.95 m/s) and aortic PWV was 8.15 +/- 3.01 m/s (5.01-17.97 m/s). Within-observer variability was 0.14 +/- 0.82 m/s for brachial PWV and 0.07 +/- 1.17 m/s for aortic PWV. Corresponding between-observer values were -0.44 +/- 1.09 m/s and -0.30 +/- 1.25 m/s. Air ranged from -15.0 to +45.0%, with a group mean of +19.6 +/- 12.0%. The within-observer difference was 0.49 +/- 5.37% and between-observer difference 0.23 +/- 3.80%.

Conclusion PWA is a simple and reproducible technique with which to measure PWV and Air. Reproducibility accords with that reported by other workers using different methodologies. PWA may, therefore, be suitable for large-scale population and intervention studies investigating the clinical relevance of vascular stiffness. J Hypertens 1998, 16:2079-2084 (C) 1998 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2079-2084
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Hypertension
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1998
Event17th Scientific Meeting of the International-Society-of-Hypertension - AMSTERDAM, Netherlands
Duration: 7 Jun 199811 Jun 1998


  • pulse wave analysis
  • arterial stiffness
  • reproducibility
  • augmentation index
  • pulse wave velocity


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