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Using Impedance Cardiography to Detect Asymptomatic Cardiovascular Disease in Prehypertensive Adults with Risk Factors



Early detection of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in prehypertension could initiate appropriate treatment and prevent progression. Impedance cardiography (ICG) is a noninvasive technology that can be used to assess cardiovascular function.


This study used ICG waveform analysis with postural change to detect CVD in asymptomatic prehypertensive adults over 40 years of age with no history of CVD and at least 2 cardiovascular risk factors: cigarette smoking, poor diet, physical inactivity, central obesity, family history of premature CVD, elevated blood glucose, and dyslipidemia.


A study group of 25 apparently healthy adults was tested by ICG in standing and supine positions. Criteria for an age-matched control group of 16 healthy subjects included an active lifestyle, no risk factor, and no history of CVD. In addition to hemodynamic measurements of systemic vascular resistance (SVR) and cardiac index (CI), ICG used SVR to assess vascular resistive load, an index of arterial compliance and a widening of the systolic waveform to assess vascular pulsatile load, and waveform analysis and measured wave amplitude to detect ventricular dysfunction.


All subjects in the study group had some abnormal ICG data, with an average of 2.9 ± 1.5 abnormalities per person. ICG indicated that 24 (96 %) had elevated vascular load, 13 (52%) had some type of ventricular dysfunction, and 12 (48 %) had abnormal hemodynamics. For the control group, ICG showed none (0 %) with elevated vascular load, none (0 %) with ventricular dysfunction, and 7 (44 %) with high CI.


Prehypertensives over 40 years of age with multiple risk factors have different cardiovascular abnormalities. This ICG test could be used as part of a prevention program for early detection of CVD. An abnormal ICG test could expedite the initiation of customized treatment that targets the subclinical CVD.

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Conflict of interest

The author reports that there is no specific funding in relation to this research. A potential conflict of interest is that the author is an employee of the company, which manufactured the impedance cardiograph used in this research.

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Correspondence to Arthur P. DeMarzo.

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DeMarzo, A.P. Using Impedance Cardiography to Detect Asymptomatic Cardiovascular Disease in Prehypertensive Adults with Risk Factors. High Blood Press Cardiovasc Prev 20, 61–67 (2013).

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  • Impedance cardiography
  • Prehypertension
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Ventricular function
  • Vascular resistance