Arterial Stiffness: Different Metrics, Different Meanings OPEN ACCESS

[+] Author and Article Information
Bart Spronck

Department of Biomedical Engineering Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA

Jay Humphrey

Department of Biomedical Engineering Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA; Vascular Biology and Therapeutics Program, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4043486 History: Received January 28, 2019; Revised March 25, 2019


Findings from basic science and clinical studies agree that arterial stiffness is fundamental to both the mechanobiology and the biomechanics that dictate vascular health and disease. There is, therefore, an appropriately growing literature on arterial stiffness. Perusal of the literature reveals, however, that many different methods and metrics are used to quantify arterial stiffness, and reported values often differ by orders of magnitude and have different meanings. Without clear definitions and an understanding of possible inter-relations therein, it is increasingly difficult to integrate results from the literature to glean true understanding. In this paper, we briefly review methods that are used to infer values of arterial stiffness that span studies on isolated cells, excised intact vessels, and clinical assessments. We highlight similarities and differences and identify a single theoretical approach that can be used across scales and applications and thus could help to unify future results. We conclude by emphasizing the need to move towards a synthesis of the many disparate reports, for only in this way will we be able to move from our current fragmented understanding to a true appreciation of how vascular cells maintain, remodel, or repair the arteries that are fundamental to cardiovascular properties and function.

Copyright (c) 2019 by ASME; reuse license CC-BY 4.0
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