, Volume 28, Issue 2, pp 222-228
Date: 17 Feb 2012

Vascular aging of common carotid artery and abdominal aorta in clinically normal individuals and preclinical patients with cardiovascular risk factors: diagnostic value of two-dimensional speckle-tracking echocardiography

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Increased arterial stiffness is becoming an increasing health care problem as the population ages. Our aim was to detect the vascular aging of common carotid artery (CCA) and abdominal aorta (AAO) more easily and earlier using two-dimensional speckle-tracking echocardiography, and to evaluate the regional differences in mechanical properties related to changes in aging between the two arteries in preclinical patients. Twenty-nine clinically normal individuals and 68 preclinical patients with cardiovascular risk factors were examined. The peak circumferential strains were measured from the short-axis views of the CCA and AAO, and each stiffness β was determined. The CCA and AAO diameters increased with advanced age, and the latter diameter was widely distributed in patients of 50 years or older. The mean strain and stiffness index of the AAO were greater and lower, respectively, than those of the CCA at all ages. The CCA and AAO strains decreased with age, expressing dramatic declines before the fifth decade of life. The CCA and AAO stiffness indices increased with age, expressing rapid ascents after the fifth decade of life, particularly in the AAO. The best markers of subclinical arterial aging were strain in younger persons and stiffness in older individuals. Two-dimensional speckle-tracking echocardiography is a new tool that can be used to directly and easily evaluate arterial function.