Blood Flow Pattern in the Middle Cerebral Artery in Relation to Indices of Arterial Stiffness in the Systemic Circulation

Ting-Yan Xu, Jan A. Staessen, Fang-Fei Wei, Dong-Jie Xu, Fa-Hong Li, Wang-Xiang Fan, Ping-Jin Gao, Ji-Guang Wang, Yan Li*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


BACKGROUND The brain is perfused at high-volume flow throughout systole and diastole. We explored the association of blood flow in the middle cerebral artery (MCA) with the pulsatile components of blood pressure in the systemic circulation and indices of arterial stiffness. METHODS We enrolled 334 untreated subjects (mean age, 50.9 years; 45.4% women) who had been referred for ambulatory blood pressure monitoring to Ruijin Hospital, Shanghai, China. We measured the MCA pulsatility index (PI) by transcranial Doppler ultrasonography. The indices of arterial stiffness included pulse pressure (brachial (bPP) and central (cPP) measured at the office and 24-h ambulatory (24-h PP)) and carotid-femoral (cf-PWV) and brachial-ankle (ba-PWV) pulse wave velocity. Effect sizes, expressed per 1 s.d., were adjusted for sex, age, heart rate, and mean pressure. RESULTS Women had faster MCA blood flow than men (68.0 vs. 58.3 cm/s), but lower PI (75.4 vs. 82.3%; P <0.001). The five arterial stiffness indices were intercorrelated (r >= 0.37;P <0.001). PI increased (P
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-324
JournalAmerican Journal of Hypertension
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012


  • arterial stiffness
  • blood pressure
  • cerebral blood flow
  • hypertension
  • middle cerebral artery
  • transcranial Doppler ultrasound

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