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We recently introduced noninvasive methods to assess local pulse wave velocity (PWV) and wave intensity ((n)dI) in arteries based on measurements of flow velocity (U) and diameter (D). Although the methods were validated in an experimental setting, clinical application remains lacking. The aim of this study was therefore to investigate the effect of age and gender on PWV and (n)dI in the carotid and femoral arteries of an existing population. We measured D and U in the carotid and femoral arteries of 1,774 healthy subjects aged 35-55 yr, a subgroup of the Asklepios population. With the use of the lnDU-loop method, we calculated local PWV, which was used to determine arterial distensibility ((n)Ds). We then used the new algorithm to determine maximum forward and backward wave intensities ((n)dI(+max) and (n)dI(-min), respectively) and the reflection index ((n)RI). On average, PWV was higher, and (n)Ds was lower in the femoral than at the carotid arteries. At the carotid artery, PWV increased with age, but (n)Ds, (n)dI(+max), and (n)dI(-min) decreased; (n)RI did not change with age. At the femoral artery, PWV was higher, and (n)Ds was lower in male, but all parameters did not change significantly with age in both women and men. We conclude that the carotid artery is more affected by the aging process than the femoral artery, even in healthy subjects. The new techniques provide mechanical and hemodynamic parameters, requiring only D and U measurements, both of which can be acquired using ultrasound equipment widely available today, hence their advantage for potential use in the clinical setting.

Original publication




Journal article


J Appl Physiol (1985)

Publication Date





727 - 735


Adult, Aging, Blood Flow Velocity, Carotid Arteries, Female, Femoral Artery, Hemodynamics, Humans, Longitudinal Studies, Male, Middle Aged, Pulsatile Flow, Pulse Wave Analysis, Sex Characteristics