Volume 23 (2016) Issue 2 Pages 155-168
Measurement of arterial stiffness in routine medical practice is important to assess the progression of arteriosclerosis. So far, many parameters have been proposed to quantitatively represent arterial stiffness. Among these, pulse wave velocity (PWV) has been most frequently applied to clinical medicine because those could be measured simply and non-invasively. PWV had established the usefulness of measuring arterial wall stiffness. However, PWV essentially depends on blood pressure at the time of measurement. Therefore, PWV is not appropriate as a parameter for the evaluation of arterial stiffness, particularly for the studies involving blood pressure changes.
On the other hand, stiffness parameter β is an index reflecting arterial stiffness without the influence of blood pressure. Recently, this parameter has been applied to develop a new arterial stiffness index called cardio-ankle vascular index (CAVI). Therefore, CAVI does not depend on blood pressure changes during the measurements; CAVI could represent the stiffness of the arterial tree from the origin of the aorta to the ankle.
Many clinical studies obtained from CAVI are being accumulated. CAVI showed high value in arteriosclerotic diseases, such as coronary artery diseases, cerebral infarction, and chronic kidney diseases, and also in majority of people with various coronary risk factors. The improvement of those risk factors decreased CAVI. Furthermore, the role of CAVI as a predictor of cardio-vascular events was reported recently.
We review the clinical studies on CAVI and discuss the clinical usefulness of CAVI as a candidate surrogate end-point marker for cardiovascular disease.