Large artery stiffness is predictive of adverse cardiovascular events and all cause mortality. This book presents a series of in-vivo experimental studies investigating effects of structural and functional changes on large artery stiffness. Novel analysis methods for measurement of arterial stiffness indexes are discussed and applied. Findings in acute inflammation, active and passive changes in systemic pressure, aortic elastic laminae defects, aortic calcification, and vasoconstrictor agents (angiotensin-II, noradrenaline, and endothelin-1) in animal models are reported. The vasodilating properties of the beta-antagonist and nitric oxide donor, nebivolol, is investigated in the human iliac artery. Changes in human forearm arterial stiffness during reactive hyperaemia are studied with respect to the importance in clinical quantification of endothelial dysfunction. Findings across these studies provides new, quantitative contributions to the in-vivo experimental investigation of the aetiology of large artery stiffness related to structure and function of artery wall properties This can lead to potential clinical applications and techniques for assessment of cardiovascular risk.
1. Introduction -- 2. Background -- 3. Continuous pressure wave analysis and measurement of pulse wave velocity -- 4. The effect of acute experimental inflammation on rat aortic stiffness: a proof of concept study -- 5. Effects of active and passive changes in pressure on aortic pulse wave velocity through alteration of venous return and pharmacological reduction of peripheral resistance -- 6. Genetically associated aortic elastic tissue lesions and large artery stiffness in rats -- 7. Time dependent effects of arterial calcification on aortic pulse wave velocity across pressure ranges in rats -- 8. A comparison of vasoconstrictor agents with different modes of action on pulse wave velocity in large arteries: a study of angiotensin-II, noradrenaline, and endothelin-1 in the sheep iliac artery -- 9. The effect of endothelium dependent nitric oxide release induced by the adrenergic β-antagonist, nebivolol, on regional pulse wave velocity in the human iliac artery -- 10. Assessment of arterial structural stiffness through ischaemia-induced reactive hyperaemia in the human brachial artery -- 11. Conclusions -- 12. Future research