Aortic-to-brachial stiffness gradient and kidney function in type 2 diabetes

Dean S. Picone, Martin G. Schultz, Rachel E.D. Climie, Velandai Srikanth, James E. Sharman

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6 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: A reversed aortic-to-brachial stiffness gradient (ab-SG), defined as aortic pulse wave velocity (aPWV) greater than brachial PWV (bPWV), was recently shown to predict mortality independent of aPWV in dialysis patients. Patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) have increased risk of renal damage and exhibit haemodynamic abnormalities at rest and during exercise that may alter the ab-SG. This study aimed to examine ab-SG in patients with T2DM by comparison with nondiabetic controls during rest and exercise, and to determine associations between ab-SG, aPWV, and kidney function. Methods: Study participants were 60 patients with T2DM and 60 age and sex-matched nondiabetic controls (58 ± 8 years, 55% male both). ab-SG was defined as the quotient of bPWV (carotid-to-radial) and aPWV (carotid-to-femoral) recorded via applanation tonometry. Kidney function was assessed using estimated glomerular filtration rate (EGFR). The exercise substudy was undertaken in 21 patients with T2DM and 21 matched nondiabetic controls during semirecumbent exercise. Results: ab-SG was significantly lower in patients with T2DM (0.99 ± 0.2 vs. 1.2 ± 0.3, P < 0.001) and aPWV, but not bPWV, was significantly higher (P < 0.001 and P = 0.25). A total of 58% of patients with T2DM vs. 27% of nondiabetic controls (χ 2 = 11.0, P < 0.001) had a reversed ab-SG (aPWV ≥ bPWV). ab-SG predicted EGFR independent of age, sex, T2DM status, and cardiovascular risk factors (β = 13.2, P = 0.024), whereas aPWV did not (β = -0.88, P = 0.30). Exercise ab-SG was significantly lower in patients with T2DM (0.97 ± 0.2 vs. 1.2 ± 0.2, P < 0.001), but did not predict EGFR. Conclusions: Patients with T2DM have a reversed ab-SG during rest and exercise. Resting ab-SG predicts kidney function independent of aPWV, implying a reversed ab-SG may have a pathophysiological function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1132-1139
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Hypertension
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2016


  • arterial stiffness
  • blood pressure
  • haemodynamics
  • kidney
  • renal insufficiency

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