Arterial wave reflection and aortic valve calcification in an elderly community-based cohort

Fusako Sera, Cesare Russo, Shinichi Iwata, Zhezhen Jin, Tatjana Rundek, Mitchell S.V. Elkind, Shunichi Homma, Ralph L. Sacco, Marco R. Di Tullio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background Aortic valve calcification (AVC) without stenosis is common in the elderly, is associated with cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, and may progress to aortic valve stenosis. Arterial stiffness and pulse-wave reflection are important components of proximal aortic hemodynamics, but their relationship with AVC is not established. Methods To investigate the relationship of arterial wave reflection and stiffness with AVC, pulse wave analysis and AVC evaluation by echocardiography were performed in 867 participants from the Cardiovascular Abnormalities and Brain Lesions study. Participants were divided into four categories on the basis of the severity and extent of AVC: (1) none or mild focal AVC, (2) mild diffuse AVC, (3) moderate to severe focal AVC, and (4) moderate to severe diffuse AVC. Central blood pressures and pulse pressure, total arterial compliance, augmentation index, and time to wave reflection were assessed using applanation tonometry. Results Indicators of arterial stiffness and wave reflection were significantly associated with AVC severity, except for central systolic and diastolic pressures and time to reflection. After adjustment for pertinent covariates (age, sex, race/ethnicity, and estimated glomerular filtration rate), only augmentation pressure (P =.02) and augmentation index (P =.002) were associated with the severity of AVC. Multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that augmentation pressure (odds ratio per mm Hg, 1.14; 95% confidence interval, 1.02-1.27; P =.02) and augmentation index (odds ratio per percentage point, 1.07; 95% confidence interval, 1.01-1.13; P =.02) were associated with an increased risk for moderate to severe diffuse AVC, even when central blood pressure value was included in the same model. Conclusions Arterial wave reflection is associated with AVC severity, independent of blood pressure values. Increased contribution of wave reflection to central blood pressure could be involved in the process leading to AVC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)430-436
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Society of Echocardiography
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2015


  • Aortic valve calcification
  • Arterial stiffness
  • Blood pressure
  • Wave reflection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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