THE EFFECTS OF AORTIC PULSE WAVE VELOCITY ON CEREBRAL PULSATILE HAEMODYNAMICS
Wright, Bethany May
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Introduction. It is well documented that aging increases aortic stiffness, which increases the velocity of blood throughout the vasculature. This increase in velocity causes an increase in wave reflections that dampens the velocity of the original forward wave, ultimately reducing its velocity within the cerebral arteries. This increases the pulsatility of the blood flow, which research has shown can cause cerebrovascular damage, leading to cognitive decline. Methods. 38 participants were recruited with an age range of 20 - 87. They were measured for their height and weight and blood pressure. Each participant had their aortic pulse wave velocity (speed of blood in the aorta) measured using a Sphygmocor. In addition to this, Transcranial Doppler Ultrasonography was used to measure cerebral haemodynamic values. These values included blood flow velocity (speed of blood), pulsatility (amount of variability in the bloods velocity) and resistance (measure of blood that flows back towards the source of the original ejection, causing resistance) which were all measured from the mid-cerebral artery. Results. The results showed that an increased aortic stiffness is associated with a lower blood flow velocity and higher pulsatility and resistance within the mid-cerebral artery. The results show that an lower blood flow velocity wishing the mid –cerebral artery is linked with a higher PI, which research shows can be highly damaging to the microcirculation. Age was shown to be the main contributor to an increased aortic stiffness, the results also show that BMI may influence blood flow velocity within the mid-cerebral artery. Disscussion. The study included a wide age range of participants and utilized the gold standard method for measuring aPWV. However the study did not screen participant’s medication which may have affected the results. There was also difficulties found in obtaining Transcranial Doppler measurements from the older age group. Conclusion. The results show that an increased age is associated with an increased aortic stiffness which is associated with a lower blood flow velocity, pulsatility and resistance within the mid-cerebral artery. Maintaining a high blood flow velocity with a low pulsatility may prevent the damage to the microcirculation and the initiation of cognitive decline.
BSc Biomedical Sciences (Health, Excercise & Nutrition)
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