Validity of Single-Point Assessments for Determining Leg Pulse-Wave Velocity In Sitting and Supine Positions

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Kinesiology and Nutrition


There has been a great deal of interest into the effects of prolonged sitting on lower limb vascular function. However, most studies use flow mediated dilation which is technically challenging. A simpler technique is pulse wave velocity (PWV) which can be estimated at any single arterial site of interest using a number of different calculations [Bramwell‐hill (PWVBH), β‐stiffness index (PWVß), and blood flow (PWVBF)]. Findings from this technique would be better inferred if they compare to a standard criterion 2‐point PWV assessment. The current study used ultrasound to determine which estimation of single‐point PWV is most valid. The criterion was traditional ECG‐gated 2‐point (superficial femoral [SF]‐posterior tibialis [PT]) PWV. Single‐point estimates were calculated at the SF and PT arteries in both supine and seated positions. Single‐point PWV was considered valid if the aSEE was <1.0m·s. Findings show that for both postural positions, the absolute standard error of estimates (aSEE) criterion of <1.0 m·s was not achieved in either the PT or SF arteries using any of the single‐point PWV calculations. However, single‐point calculations consistently demonstrated the lowest error at the SF artery using PWVß in both supine (SF aSEE = 1.7 vs. PT 2.7m·s) and seated (SF aSEE = 1.5 vs. PT 3.0m·s) positions. All single‐point ΔPWV (supine – seated) calculations were higher in sitting, with PWVß having the closest agreement (ΔSF aSEE 1.7m·s) to the 2‐point criterion. Single‐point PWV calculations do not directly reflect regional 2‐point PWV. However, they are sensitive to change when moving from supine to seated positions.

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Clinical Physiology and Functional Imaging

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