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Title: Carotid artery elasticity in young men with family history of essential hypertension

Marek Czarkowski, Mariusz Żebrowski, Tadeusz Powałowski
Original articles
Polish Journal of Cardiology
Start page:
Final page:
Elasticity, essential hypertension, genetic predisposition to essential hypertension, common carotid artery

Introduction: Changes in the mechanical properties of the arterial wall observed in patients with essential hypertension (EH) may reflect either a primary defect due to genetic factors predisposing to EH or a secon-dary effect of elevated blood pressure on the arterial wall. Aim of study: We investigated the elastic behaviour of the big artery in different stages of EH in two situations - at rest and with the stimulus that mimics haemodynamic changes that are present on assumption of upright posturę. Material and methods: Three groups of young men were investigated: G1 - 7 normotensive men with negative family history of essential hypertension (24.7±1.5yrs); G2 - 7 normotensive men with positive family history of essential hypertension (25.1 ±1.8 yrs) and G3 - 7 hypertensive men with positive family history of essential hypertension (28.6±1.8 yrs). The elasticity of the common carotid artery was examined on the basis of noninvasive measurements of the carotid artery diameter [mm] and the systolic (SBP) and diastolic (DBP) blood pressure measured by a cuff on the brachial artery during rest and during Iower body negative pressure (LBNP)(-15 mmHg). The exami-nations were performed using the ultrasonic measuring system (Vascular Echo Doppler). The arterial distensibility coefficient (DC) [1/MPa], the cross-sectional compliance (CC) [1O4 m2/MPa] and the logarithmic stiffness coefficient (oc) were calculated. Results: At rest and during LBNP DC and CC were Iower in G3 than in G1 (at rest - DC=28.5±3.8 vs. 50.5±16.1; LBNP - DC=27.3±2.7 vs. 47.3±12.2 [1CH m2/Mpa], p<0.01, at rest - CC=8.8±1.7 vs. 14±4.4; LBNP - CC=8.9±1.9 vs. 12.6±3.9 [1 /Mpa] p<0.05), whereas logarithmic stiffness coefficient - oc was higher in G3 than in G1 (at rest - a=2.29±0.22 vs. 1.67±0.54, p<0.05; LBNP - a=2.41 ±0.2 vs. 1.68±0.37, p<0.01). Although during LBNP there was no difference in SBP or DBP between G2 and G1, wefound significant disparities between these groups in DC and oc (DC=47.3±12.2 vs. 31.4±6.3 [10-4 m2/Mpa], p<0.01; a=1.68±0.37 vs. 2.48±0.46, p<0.01). Conclusion: Our results suggest that young men with positive family history of EH (G2) might have hereditary defects in the mechanisms that control the mechanical properties of the wali of the carotid artery. After a stimulus these defects become detectable even in normotensive men with positive family history of EH.