Arterial stiffness

M. F. O'Rourke, G. Mancia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background. Arterial stiffness is an important determinant of pulse pressure, and of left ventricular load and coronary perfusion pressure. Assessments of stiffness. Precise quantification is elusive, since stiffness is different in different arteries and even in the same artery at different pressures. Proximal elastic arteries and peripheral muscular arteries respond differently to aging change and to drugs. Various other terms are used to express stiffness, such as distensibility and compliance. Various indirect indices are also used, including pulse wave velocity, characteristic impedance and augmentation index. Increases in stiffness. While the literature is confusing, it is well established that stiffness of central arteries increases with aging and with elevated blood pressure. Effects of other diseases and of vasoactive agents are less clear-cut.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-4
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Hypertension
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1999


  • Arterial compliance
  • Arterial distensibility
  • Pulse wave velocity
  • Vascular impedance
  • Wave reflection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology


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