In order to diagnose arteriosclerosis in any part of the body, pulse wave velocity (PWV) measurement is a useful approach. However, it is considered that the technique of PWV measurement should be simplified. A new method for measuring PWV has therefore been proposed in Japan. The PWV of the brachial artery (ba) and the ankle was measured by applying air pressure with the aid of a volume plethysmograph. Comparisons between the baPWV measurement method and the conventional method are currently being performed. Since satisfactory results have been obtained to date, baPWV has gained popularity throughout Japan. Since this method measures PWV in the arm and foot, it may be said that aortic PWV is not reflected though a large amount of past PWV measurements. BaPWV is influenced by blood pressure. With the baPWV technique, blood pressure compensation is not carried out. Furthermore, the pulse pressure is measured by air pressure; therefore any stimulus that exerts pressure on an artery may influence these results. Due to these reasons, a cardio-ankle vascular index (CAVI) has been proposed in which the pressure wave form indicating the closing of the aortic valve appears in the form of an arterial pressure wave after a fixed delay time. This delay is the time difference between the actual closing of the aortic valve and the measuring point. Prior to the introduction of baPWV, PWV was measured in the carotid artery and foot. As in traditional PWV, baPWV uses the delay time, but between the brachial artery and the ankle artery. However, the carotid artery differs from the brachial artery, and the measured value differs depending on whether the arteriosclerosis is present in the carotid artery or the brachial artery. CAVI is calculated from the ECG, PCG, brachial artery waveform and ankle artery waveform using a special algorithm. This new method represents a breakthrough in the diagnosis of atherosclerosis.
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