Site-specific association between distal aortic pulse wave velocity and peripheral arterial stenosis severity: a prospective cardiovascular magnetic resonance study

H.C.M. van den Bosch*, J.J.M. Westenberg, W. Setz-Pels, J. Wondergem, R. Wolterbeek, L.E.M. Duijm, J.A.W. Teijink, A. de Roos

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: Vascular disease expression in one location may not be representative for disease severity in other vascular territories, however, strong correlation between disease expression and severity within the same vascular segment may be expected. Therefore, we hypothesized that aortic stiffening is more strongly associated with disease expression in a vascular territory directly linked to that aortic segment rather than in a more remote segment. We prospectively compared the association between aortic wall stiffness, expressed by pulse wave velocity (PWV), sampled in the distal aorta, with the severity of peripheral arterial occlusive disease (PAOD) as compared to atherosclerotic markers sampled in remote vascular territories such as PWV in the proximal aorta and the normalized wall index (NWI), representing the vessel wall thickness, of the left common carotid artery.

Methods: Forty-two patients (23 men; mean age 64 +/- 10 years) underwent velocity-encoded cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) in the proximal and distal aorta, whole-body contrast-enhanced MR angiography (CE-MRA) and carotid vessel wall imaging with black-blood CMR in the work-up for PAOD. Strength of associations between aortic stiffness, carotid NWI and peripheral vascular stenosis grade were assessed and evaluated with multiple linear regression.

Results: Stenosis severity correlated well with PWV in the distal aorta (Pearson r(P)=0.64, p

Conclusions: Distal aortic wall stiffness is more directly related to peripheral arterial stenosis severity than markers from more remote vascular territories such as proximal aortic wall stiffness or carotid arterial wall thickness. Site-specific evaluation of vascular disease may be required for full vascular risk estimation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jan 2015


  • Cardiovascular magnetic resonance
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Peripheral arterial occlusive disease
  • Pulse wave velocity
  • Carotid vessel wall
  • MRI

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