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Influence of thoracic aortic inflammation and calcifications on arterial stiffness and cardiac function in older subjects

Abstract : BACKGROUND: Vascular aging is accompanied by gradual remodeling affecting both arterial and cardiac structure and mechanical properties. Hypertension is suggested to exert pro-inflammatory actions enhancing arterial stiffness. OBJECTIVE: To determine the influence of thoracic aortic inflammation and calcifications on arterial stiffness and cardiac function in hypertensive and normotensive older subjects. DESIGN: A prospective study. SETTING: An acute geriatrics ward of the University Hospital of Nancy in France. SUBJECTS: Thirty individuals ≥ 65 years were examined, including 15 hypertensive subjects and 15 controls well-matched for age and sex. MEASUREMENTS: Applanation tonometry was used to measure aortic pulse wave velocity (AoPWV) and carotid/brachial pulse pressure amplification (PPA). Left ventricular parameters were measured with magnetic resonance imaging. Local thoracic aortic inflammation and calcification were measured by 18 F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography imaging. Biomarkers of low-grade inflammation were also quantified. RESULTS: AoPWV was higher in elderly hypertensive subjects comparatively to normotensive controls (15.5±5.3 vs. 11.9±2.5, p=0.046), and hypertensives had a higher calcification volume. In the overall population, calcifications of the thoracic descending aorta and inflammation of the ascending aorta accounted for respectively 18.1% (p=0.01) and 9.6% (p=0.07) of AoPWV variation. Individuals with high levels of calcifications and/or inflammation had higher AoPWV (p=0.003). Inflammation had a negative effect on PPA explaining 13.8% of its variation (p<0.05). CONCLUSION: This study highlights the importance of local ascending aortic inflammation as a potential major actor in the determination of PPA while calcifications and hypertension are more linked to AoPWV. Assessment of PPA in the very elderly could provide complementary information to improve diagnostic and therapeutic strategies targeting ascending aortic inflammation.
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https://hal.univ-lorraine.fr/hal-01734946
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Submitted on : Thursday, March 15, 2018 - 11:32:51 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, January 7, 2021 - 3:58:03 PM

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Laure Joly, D. Mandry, A. Verger, C. Labat, G. Watfa, et al.. Influence of thoracic aortic inflammation and calcifications on arterial stiffness and cardiac function in older subjects. Journal of Nutrition, Health and Aging, Springer Verlag (Germany), 2016, 20 (3), pp.347 - 354. ⟨10.1007/s12603-015-0574-0⟩. ⟨hal-01734946⟩

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