Journal Article

Arterial stiffness in heart failure patients: dependance on diastolic dysfunction and plasma aldosterone levels

Cristina Giannattasio, Felice Achilli, Monica Failla, Anna Capra, Antonella Vincenzi, Gaetano Gentile, Davide Corsi, Chiara Zazzeron, Lucia Turolo, Alberto Morganti and Giuseppe Mancia

in European Heart Journal Supplements

Published on behalf of European Society of Cardiology

Volume 6, issue suppl_F, pages F30-F34
Published in print November 2004 | ISSN: 1520-765X
Published online November 2004 | e-ISSN: 1554-2815 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ehjsup.2004.09.006
Arterial stiffness in heart failure patients: dependance on diastolic dysfunction and plasma aldosterone levels

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Background

Heart failure is accompanied by large artery wall stiffening. Aim of the present study was to see whether the stiffening correlates (1) with the severity of the disease, (2) with the concomitant diastolic dysfunction and (3) with plasma aldosterone concentration, i.e. the concentration of a substance stimulating vessel fibrosis.

Patients and methods

We measured diameter (D) and distensibility (Dist) of a common carotid artery (CA) and abdominal aorta (AO) by an echotracking technique in 34 patients with mild to moderate congestive heart failure under diuretic, digitalis and ace-inhibitors treatment.

Results

AO Dist correlated with the E/A or Dec time obtained by an echocolordoppler examination (r 0.62 and – 0.42, respectively, p<0.02) while showing an inverse relationship with the VO2 max obtained by cardiopulmonary stress test (r −0.47, p<0.01) and with the plasma concentration of aldosterone (r 0.39, p<0.04). Similar findings were obtained for CA Dist.

Conclusions

Thus the arterial stiffening increases with the heart failure severity and shows a parallelism with the reduced ability of the heart to relax in response to transmural pressure. The increased plasma levels of aldosterone (even in patients under ace-inhibitor) may play a role in this alteration of arterial mechanical properties.

Journal Article.  2554 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Cardiovascular Medicine

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