An Innovative Piezoelectric-Based Method for Measuring Pulse Wave Velocity in Patients With Hypertension


AA Jennifer Adgey, The Heart Centre, Royal Victoria Hospital, Grosvenor Road, Belfast, Northern Ireland BT12 6BA


J Clin Hypertens (Greenwich). 2011;13:497–505.©2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Pulse wave velocity (PWV) is an accepted surrogate marker of arterial stiffness and may be a useful tool for assessing cardiovascular risk in hypertensive patients. The authors sought to compare a novel polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) piezoelectric–based sensing device for measuring PWV in the arm with a validated SphygmoCor device (AtCor Medical, West Ryde, Australia) in normal and hypertensive patients. They also sought to compare measured PWV in the forearm (brachial-radial PWV [BRPWV]) with values obtained in the carotid-radial segment (carotid-radial PWV [CRPWV]). Under standardized conditions, CRPWV in 108 normotensive patients with both devices was measured. BRPWV was measured with the PVDF device. Identical measurements were made in a group of 82 hypertensive patients before and after optimization of blood pressure control. Mean CRPWV was 8.7 m/s in the normotensive group and 9.4 m/s in the hypertensive group. Mean BRPWV was 9.2 m/s in the normotensive group and 10.3 m/s in the hypertensive group. There was excellent correlation between the 2 devices when comparing individual CRPWV values (normotensive group, R2=0.92; mean bias 0.04 m/s; hypertensive group, R2=0.89, mean bias 0.08 m/s). Correlation was also favorable when measuring changes in CRPWV in hypertensive patients undergoing pharmacotherapy (PVDF −0.52±0.90 m/s vs SphygmoCor −0.53±1.01 m/s; R2=0.81). Measured values for BRPWV were significantly higher than CRPWV values, and this discrepancy was more marked in the hypertensive group. The PVDF piezoelectric device has excellent correlation with the validated SphygmoCor device when measuring PWV. This novel device may have an important role in patients with conditions such as hypertension.