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Vascular stiffness and distensibility in exercising humans


Project description

The study of arterial wave propagation is essential to understand the normal physiology and pathology of the cardiovascular system, as waves carry functionally and clinically relevant information. The wave intensity analysis using vessel diameter and flow velocity waveforms data affords the characterization of changes in vascular stiffness and distensibility with rapid perturbations, such as those produced during exercise. 

This PhD project examined the reproducibility of the common carotid artery vascular stiffness and distensibility responses in resting and exercising healthy young participants as well as the responses to graded exercise and recovery. The specific aims of the studies included in this project were two-fold: 1) determination of the reproducibility of common carotid DU-derived wave intensity parameters in healthy volunteers both at rest and during semi-recumbent cycling exercise, and 2) examination of the effect of incremental exercise up to 70% of maximum work rate and subsequent recovery on the common carotid artery stiffness, and the cardio-arterial interaction as measured by wave intensity analysis parameters. 

The results of this project open up new possibilities for non-invasive investigation of cardiovascular properties of human large arteries subjected to large number of physiologic perturbations. 

Research Outputs 

Pomella N, Wilhelm EN, Kolyva C, González-Alonso J, Rakobowchuk  M, Khir AW (2018). Non-invasive assessment of the common carotid artery hemodynamics with increasing exercise workrate using wave intensity analysis. Am J Physiol Heart Circ 315(2):H233-H241.e13496. 

Pomella N, Wilhelm EN, Kolyva C, González-Alonso J, Rakobowchuk M, Khir AW (2017). Common carotid artery diameter, blood flow velocity and wave intensity responses at rest and during exercise in young healthy humans - A reproducibility study. Ultrasound Med Biol 43, 943-957.