Interplay between arterial stiffness and diastolic function: a marker of ventricular-vascular coupling


Aurora Cardiovascular Services, Aurora Sinai/Aurora St. Luke's Medical Centers,


AIMS: We evaluated the interplay between left ventricular diastolic function and large-artery stiffness in asymptomatic patients at increased risk of heart failure and no structural heart disease (Stage A).

METHODS: We divided 127 consecutive patients (mean age 49 ± 17 years) with risk factors for heart failure who were referred to our laboratory to rule out structural heart disease into two groups according to presence (Group 1, n = 35) or absence (Group 2, n = 92) of grade I left ventricular diastolic dysfunction. Doppler imaging with high-resolution echo-tracking software was used to measure intima-media thickness (IMT) and stiffness of carotid arteries.

RESULTS:Group 1 had significantly higher mean age, blood pressure, left ventricular mass index, carotid IMT and arterial stiffness than Group 2 (P

CONCLUSION: An independent association between grade I left ventricular diastolic dysfunction and increased arterial stiffness is demonstrated at the earliest stage of heart failure. Hence, assessment of vascular function, beyond cardiac function, should be included in a comprehensive clinical evaluation of these patients.

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