Abnormalities of peripheral arterial compliance are clinically useful markers of atherosclerosis and risk of vascular events. Local peripheral arterial compliance can be easily and accurately assessed in the clinic by computer-controlled pulse volume recordings (air plethysmography). The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between clinical cardiovascular risk factors, a surrogate of atherosclerotic burden, and peripheral arterial compliance in the thigh and calf determined by quantification of local pulse volume recordings in patients undergoing coronary angiography. Peripheral arterial compliance in the thigh and calf was measured in 346 patients undergoing diagnostic cardiac catheterization at 4 centers. Demographic and cardiovascular risk factor data were collected, and their relationship to local arterial compliance examined using a new device that assesses maximal local arterial volume change in an extremity segment. Pulse volume recordings detected decreased local arterial compliance in the thigh associated with a history of hypertension (p < 0.0001), diabetes mellitus (p = 0.0001), and hyperlipidemia (p = 0.0007). In the calf, this arterial compliance measure was associated with a history of hypertension (p < 0.0001) and diabetes mellitus (p = 0.002). Females had lower arterial compliance than males in the thigh (p = 0.003) and calf (p < 0.0001). Limited evidence of lower arterial compliance in the thigh was found for those with obesity (p = 0.07). This procedure also demonstrated that subjects with multiple cardiovascular risk factors had lower arterial compliance in the thigh than subjects with no or 1 risk factor (p = 0.0001). Peripheral arterial compliance determined by air plethysmography is strongly associated with standard cardiovascular risk factors. The noninvasive measurement of local arterial compliance by regional pulse volume recording may be a useful adjunct for cardiovascular risk stratification early in the course of the disease as well as for monitoring vascular response to therapy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine