Experimental and clinical studies have demonstrated that changes in small artery structure and function are associated with age. These changes include decreased lumen diameter, increased wall thickness and diminished vasoreactivity. Other risk factors such as hypertension and diabetes accelerate and exacerbate these changes. Quantifying these parameters using isolated and pressurized, perfused, cannulated blood vessels is an ideal way to aid in elucidating the underlying causes of these changes to the vasculature and as they relate to aging and cardiovascular health.
Measuring stiffness in progressive diseases can be challenging, but pulse wave velocity (PWV) is considered the gold standard to assess arterial stiffness in vivo. There is epidemiological evidence of the predictive value of PWV for cardiovascular events, and PWV assessment can be done non-invasively and longitudinally for monitoring the progression and improvement of arterial stiffness through different disease models and treatments. For translational researchers, the PWV measurement technique can be adapted from the traditional clinical technique to be used to assess PWV in preclinical animal research studies. As many of the models for CVD use rodents, PWV in small animals is one of the best ways to monitor treatment efficacy and disease progression for pre-clinical research.
By combining these two modalities, both in vivo and in vitro, researchers can assess arterial stiffness and resulting vascular dysfunction. In this webinar we discussed both methodologies, the techniques and instrumentation used, and some relevant journal articles that use these techniques to assess vascular aging.
This webinar covered the following topics:
- Vascular stiffness, systemic arterial hypertension and other associated effects of aging on the cardiovascular system
- Pulse Wave Velocity (PWV) and Pressure Arteriography and how they can be used to assess arterial stiffness:
- PWV as the gold-standard for longitudinal, non-invasive estimates of arterial stiffness
- Pressure Arteriography and why it is essential for measuring isolated vessel structure and function to assess vascular activity
- A brief summary of relevant literature