Wave Reflections, Assessed With a Novel Method for Pulse Wave Separation, Are Associated With End-Organ Damage and Clinical Outcomes

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We recently developed a novel method for assessment of arterial wave reflections (ARCSolver method): based on adopted Windkessel methods, flow curves are estimated from pressure waveforms, and wave separation analysis is performed, yielding the amplitudes of the forward and backward waves. The aim of this study was to investigate their clinical correlates and prognostic impact. In 725 patients (417 men; mean age, 64 years) undergoing coronary angiography, we determined wave reflections from radial tonometry and transfer function-derived aortic waveforms using pulse wave analysis, as well as wave separation analysis. Measures of pulsatile arterial function were statistically significant, although moderately associated with markers of cardiac load and subclinic cardiac, renal, and aortic end-organ damage. After a median follow-up duration of 1399 days, 139 patients reached the combined cardiovascular end point (death, myocardial infarction, stroke, coronary, cerebrovascular, and peripheral revascularization). In univariate analysis, the relative risk of the combined end point increased with increasing levels of incident pressure wave height, augmented pressure, and forward and backward wave amplitude (hazard ratio for 1 SD was 1.302, 1.236, 1.226, and 1.276; P<0.01 for all, respectively). In multivariate analysis, backward wave amplitude was the most consistent predictor of the combined end point. Of note, its predictive value was independent of brachial systolic, diastolic, and mean blood pressures and was superior to brachial pulse pressure. In conclusion, the amplitude of the reflected wave, as assessed with a novel method for wave separation, is associated with hypertensive end organ damage and is an independent predictor of cardiovascular events in high-risk patients.

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