Determination of brachial artery stiffness prior to vascular access creation: reproducibility of pulse wave velocity assessment

Aron S. Bode, Jaap Leermakers, J. Wilco Kroon, Peter Brands, R. Nils Planken, Jan H. M. Tordoir*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Web of Science)


Background. Despite routine ultrasound mapping of upper extremity arteries and veins, early thrombosis and nonmaturation remain frequent complications following vascular access (VA) surgery. Besides vascular diameters, brachial artery stiffness is assumed to play an important role; however, reproducibility of measurements has never been established. The purpose of this study was to determine within-session and between-session variabilities of pulse wave velocity (PWV) assessment by using ultrasonography and blood pressure registration. Methods. Beat-to-beat changes in brachial artery diameter and pressure were obtained in 21 subjects in measurement sessions on Day 1 and Day 3. Each session consisted of three acquisitions. For each acquisition, systolic and diastolic diameter and pressure were determined and used for calculation of brachial artery PWV. Within-session variability of diameter and pressure, as well as the estimated PWV, was expressed using the intraclass correlation coefficient with corresponding coefficient of variation (CoV). Between-session variability was reported using Bland-Altman analysis in combination with CoV analysis. Results. Significant agreement (P <0.001) was obtained for all diameter and pressure measurements obtained on Day 1 and Day 3. Within-session CoV of pulse pressure, diastolic diameter and distension were 7.0, 1.6 and 18.3%, respectively. Subsequent estimation of local PWV resulted in a CoV of 10.6%. Between-session CoV was 15.1, 3.8 and 18.9% for pulse pressure, diastolic diameter and distension, respectively. For PWV estimation, this resulted in a CoV of 13.5%. Conclusions. Diameter and pressure can be recorded accurately over the cardiac cycle, and calculations of distensibility, pulse pressure and PWV show a slight to moderate degree of variation. Larger studies elaborating on interindividual differences need to determine the clinical efficacy of PWV measurements prior to VA creation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2370-2376
JournalNephrology Dialysis Transplantation
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012


  • arterial stiffness
  • arteriovenous fistula
  • duplex ultrasound
  • pulse wave velocity
  • reproducibility

Cite this