Ambulatory Arterial Stiffness Index Is Increased in Hypertensive Childhood Disease

Division of Paediatric Nephrology, University of Bern, 3010 Berne, Switzerland.
Pediatric Research (Impact Factor: 2.31). 04/2008; 64(3):303-7. DOI: 10.1203/PDR.0b013e31817d9bc5
Source: PubMed


Arterial hypertension in adults is often associated with an increased arterial stiffness, which correlates with the ambulatory arterial stiffness index (AASI) as derived from ambulatory blood pressure (BP) measurements. The purpose of this study was to demonstrate whether children with diagnosed hypertension have an increased AASI as in hypertensive adults. AASI was calculated from 185 ambulatory BP measurements of 114 hypertensive and 71 normotensive, healthy children. Hypertensive children had higher AASI values compared with their normotensive healthy counterparts (0.370 +/- 0.120 versus 0.204 +/- 0.199, p < 0.0001). Children with longer duration of hypertension or a history of primary or secondary aortic coarctation displayed even more elevated AASI values. A receiver operator curve derived cut-off of AASI set at 0.301 distinguished (p < 0.0001) hypertensive from normotensive children with an odds ratio of 8.2, a sensitivity of 81%, and a specificity of 65%. Moreover, AASI correlated with pulse and systolic BP. In conclusion, AASI is elevated in hypertensive children and correlates with the duration and the origin of hypertension in childhood.

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    ABSTRACT: Childhood HTN (hypertension) has become a widely investigated topic within the last decade due to its increasing prevalence. In the present review, we examine new developments and trends that have significantly contributed to aetiology, diagnosis, evaluation and management of childhood HTN. Many recent reports document an increasing prevalence of HTN, mainly essential HTN, in children worldwide. This is probably related to the increase of childhood obesity, although obesity is not the only factor. Evidence has been accumulating to suggest a rather complex interplay between obesity, uric acid level, dietary sodium intake, inflammation, inheritance and other factors, which lead to increased risk of developing HTN in childhood and adulthood. The detection and monitoring of HTN has significantly improved with the use of ABPM (ambulatory blood pressure monitoring), which allows not only for a more accurate classification and staging of HTN, but also for the calculation of more sophisticated parameters such as the AASI (ambulatory arterial stiffness index). Measurement of arterial stiffness enables assessment of arterial dysfunction, which may precede structural vascular changes evaluated by carotid intima media thickness. Sustained HTN eventually leads to end-organ damage [LVH (left ventricular hypertrophy), central nervous system], which in turn increases the risk of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. New developments in childhood HTN, as outlined in the present review, will hopefully contribute to better screening and management of HTN in children.
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