Central blood pressure in children and adolescents: non-invasive development and testing of novel transfer functions

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Abstract

Central blood pressure can be estimated from peripheral pulses in adults using generalised transfer functions (TF). We sought to create and test age-specific non-invasively developed TFs in children, with comparison to a pre-existing adult TF. We studied healthy children from two sites at two time points, 8 and 14 years of age, split by site into development and validation groups. Radial and carotid pressure waveforms were obtained by applanation tonometry. Central systolic pressure was derived from carotid waveforms calibrated to brachial mean and diastolic pressures. Age-specific TFs created in the development groups (n = 50) were tested in the validation groups aged 8 (n = 137) and 14 years (n = 85). At 8 years of age, the age-specific TF estimated 82, 99 and 100% of central systolic pressure values within 5, 10 and 15 mm Hg of their measured values, respectively. This TF overestimated central systolic pressure by 2.2 (s.d. 3.7) mm Hg, compared to being underestimated by 5.6 (s.d. 3.9) mm Hg with the adult TF. At 14 years of age, the age-specific TF estimated 60, 87 and 95% of values within 5, 10 and 15 mm Hg of their measured values, respectively. This TF underestimated central systolic pressure by 0.5 (s.d. 6.7) mm Hg, while the adult TF underestimated it by 6.8 (s.d. 6.0) mm Hg. In conclusion, age-specific TFs more accurately predict central systolic pressure measured at the carotid artery in children than an existing adult TF.

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