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International Journal of Vascular Medicine
Volume 2012, Article ID 903107, 9 pages
Review Article

Assessments of Arterial Stiffness and Endothelial Function Using Pulse Wave Analysis

1School of Sport and Exercise, Massey University, P.O. Box 756, Wellington 6140, New Zealand
2Lipid and Diabetes Research Group, Diabetes Research Institute, Christchurch Hospital, Christchurch 8011, New Zealand
3Department of Medicine, University of Otago, Christchurch 8140, New Zealand
4School of Sciences and Physical Education, University of Canterbury, Christchurch 8140, New Zealand

Received 29 September 2011; Revised 16 February 2012; Accepted 2 March 2012

Academic Editor: Robert M. Schainfeld

Copyright © 2012 Lee Stoner et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Conventionally, the assessments of endothelial function and arterial stiffness require different sets of equipment, making the inclusion of both tests impractical for clinical and epidemiological studies. Pulse wave analysis (PWA) provides useful information regarding the mechanical properties of the arterial tree and can also be used to assess endothelial function. PWA is a simple, valid, reliable, and inexpensive technique, offering great clinical and epidemiological potential. The current paper will outline how to measure arterial stiffness and endothelial function using this technique and include discussion of validity and reliability.