Repeatability of central and peripheral pulse wave velocity measures: The Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study

Michelle L. Meyer, Hirofumi Tanaka, Priya Palta, Mehul D. Patel, Ricky Camplain, David Couper, Susan Cheng, Ada Al Qunaibet, Anna K. Poon, Gerardo Heiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Arterial stiffness measures are emerging tools for risk assessment and stratification for hypertension and cardiovascular disease (CVD). Carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (cfPWV) is an established measure of central arterial stiffness. Other measures of PWV include femoral-ankle (faPWV), a measure of peripheral stiffness, and brachial-ankle PWV (baPWV), a composite measure of central and peripheral stiffness. Repeatability of central, peripheral, and composite PWV measures has not been adequately examined or compared. METHODS: Participants (n = 79; mean age 75.7 years; USA) from a repeatability study nested within the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study visit 5 (2011-2013) underwent 2 standardized visits, 4-8 weeks apart. Trained technicians obtained 2 PWV measurements at each visit using the VP-1000 Plus system. We calculated the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC), SE of measurement, and minimal detectable change (MDC95; 95% confidence interval) and difference (MDD). RESULTS: The ICCs and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) were 0.70 (0.59, 0.81) for cfPWV, 0.84 (0.78, 0.90) for baPWV, and 0.69 (0.59, 0.79) for faPWV. The MDC95 between repeat measures within an individual was 411.0 cm/s for cfPWV, 370.6 cm/s for baPWV, and 301.4 cm/s for faPWV. The MDD for 2 independent samples of 100 per group was 139.3 cm/s for cfPWV, 172.3 cm/s for baPWV, and 100.4 cm/s for faPWV. CONCLUSIONS: Repeatability was acceptable for all PWV measures in a multicenter, population-based study of older adults and supports its use in epidemiologic studies. Quantifying PWV measurement variation is critical for applications to risk assessment and stratification and eventual translation to clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)470-475
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Hypertension
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Arterial stiffness
  • Blood pressure
  • Central arterial stiffness
  • Hypertension
  • Peripheral arterial stiffness
  • Reliability
  • Reproducibility
  • Subclinical cardiovascular disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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