Understanding the change in elastic properties of peripheral arteries in heart failure patients is of particular importance, especially when compared with normal subjects. To investigate factors associated with their difference, 40 normal subjects and 60 heart failure patients were studied. Electrocardiograms, carotid pulses and radial pulses were simultaneously recorded to determine carotid-radial pulse transit time (carotid-radial PTT), arm pulse wave velocity (PWV), and arterial volume distensibility. In comparison with normal subjects, carotid-radial PTT was lower by 8 ms in heart failure patients, arm PWV higher by 1.4 m/s, and peripheral arterial distensibility lower by 0.04 % per mmHg (all significant, P < 0.01). Peripheral arterial distensibility was significantly related to systolic blood pressure (SBP) and to left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) for heart failure patients (both P < 0.001), but the relationship for the normal group was not statistically significant (both 0.05 < P<0.1). Ageing had a significant inverse relationship with arterial distensibility in normal subjects (P < 0.05), but not in heart failure patients (P = 0.59). No subject in the normal group had an arterial distensibility lower than 0.1 % per mmHg, in comparison with 28 % (17/60) in the heart failure group. Peripheral arterial distensibility has been shown to be significantly lower in heart failure patients in comparison with normal subjects. High SBP and low LVEF were the main factors associated with low arterial distensibility in heart failure patients.
- Arterial pressure
- Arterial volume distensibility
- Heart failure
- Pulse wave velocity