Validity and Reliability of Lower-Limb Pulse-Wave Velocity Assessments Using an Oscillometric Technique

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There is a growing interest in the deleterious effects of sedentary behaviour on lower‐limb arterial health. To permit further investigation, including in larger epidemiological studies, there is a need to identify lower‐limb arterial health assessment tools that are valid and reliable, yet simple to administer.


This study sought to determine the validity and between‐day reliability of femoral‐ankle pulse‐wave velocity (faPWV) measures obtained using an oscillometric‐based device (SphygmocCor XCEL) in supine and seated positions. Doppler ultrasound (US) was used as the criterion.


A total of 47 healthy adults were recruited for validity (n = 32) and reliability (n = 15) analyses. Validity was determined by measuring faPWV in seated and supine positions using the XCEL and US devices, in a randomised order. Between‐day reliability was determined by measuring seated and supine faPWV using the XCEL on 3 different mornings, separated by a maximum of 7 days.


The validity criteria (absolute standard error of estimate [aSEE] < 1.0 m s−1) was met in the supine (aSEE = 0.8 m s−1, 95% CI: 0.4‐1.0), but not the seated (aSEE = 1.2 m s−1, 95% CI: 1.1, 1.2) position. Intras‐class correlation coefficient estimates revealed the XCEL demonstrated good reliability in the supine position (ICC = 0.83, 95% CI: 0.65, 0.93), but poor reliability in the seated position (ICC = 0.29, 95% CI: 0.23, 0.63).


The oscillometric XCEL device can be used to determine lower‐limb PWV with acceptable validity and reliability in the conventionally recommended supine position, but not the seated position.

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Experimental Physiology

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