Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Arterial Stiffness Analysis

Arterial Stiffness Analysis There are various methods for cardiovascular examination. The ECG shows signs of oxygen deprivation, when coronaries are blocked for 70% or more. Other invasive procedures such as cardiac catheterization will detect abnormalities at an earlier stage, but such tests are only performed if people have complaints. The AORTOGRAM is performed with the Arteriograph®. This is a relatively new method that is so sensitive, that abnormalities can be detected in a very early stage . The Arteriograph measures both the loss of arterial functioning and arterial stiffening. Loss of function is expressed in the unit AIX: the Augmentation Index. The AIX is a measure of the total resistance of all blood vessels. Against this resistance, the heart pumps every stroke. The higher this resistance is, the higher the work load for the heart. An increased resistance of the blood vessels is caused by loss of function of the endothelium. Loss of elasticity (stiffness) of the arteries is expressed in the unit of measure PWV: Pulse Wave Velocity, or the speed at which the aortic pulse is going. In case of aortic stiffening the speed of the pulse increases. The higher the PWV, the more stiffening of the aorta has already occurred. Both loss of function and stiffening are categorized in four groups:

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