Aortic compliance measured by non-invasive Doppler ultrasound: application of a personal computer based Mk II system and its repeatability Academic Article uri icon

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  • A non-invasive pulse-wave-velocity Doppler ultrasound technique for the assessment of aortic compliance is described. A computational approach for correcting for the effect of non-chronic changes in blood pressure is considered and applied to compliance measurements performed on an age-select cohort of 70 normotensive, normal healthy volunteers. In order to permit the wider availability of the pulse-wave-velocity Doppler ultrasound technique, the authors have developed a MkII system based on a standard 80486/33 MHz IBM compatible WINDOWS based personal computer; real-time spectral analysis being achieved using a relatively inexpensive but fast analogue to digital signal processing card. An overview of the new apparatus is provided and verification work to compare the repeatability of the MkI and MkII systems is described. Medical disorders such as atherosclerosis, diabetes mellitus, familial hypercholesterolaemia, growth hormone deficiency, and Ehlers-Danlos and Marfan's syndromes have all been shown to affect arterial wall compliance. We suggest that the in vivo clinical measurement of blood pressure corrected aortic distensibility using the MkII system may be a useful, reproducible, non-invasive tool for assessing such patients' susceptibility to atheromatous arterial disease as well as for monitoring their response to therapeutic interventions. Measurements in the aorta may be especially pertinent since the natural history of fatty streaks there tends to parallel that in the coronary vasculature thereby potentially affording a convenient surrogate estimate of coronary heart disease.


  • Lehmann, ED
  • Hopkins, KD
  • Marsden, RM
  • Brown, Ian David
  • Jones, RL
  • Turay, RC
  • Taylor, MG
  • Gosling, RG

publication date

  • May 1994