Radial Applanation Tonometry as an Adjuvant Tool in the Noninvasive Arterial Stiffness and Blood Pressure Assessment


Since antiquity, the human arterial pulse represents an important parameter in the clinical assessment. Besides being routinely assessed in the medical practice, such pulse is not observed in its completeness yet, once many of the data obtained through it cannot be evaluated using conventional methods. Taking into account such methods, the measurement of arterial blood pressure using sphygmomanometry, although broadly widespread in the assessment and follow-up of patients who require accompaniment of their cardiovascular status, is not able to properly guide about parameters related to the central hemodynamic status, the latter most strongly associated with cardiovascular risk. Such incapability is due to the centrifugal augmentation of the pressures taken at different points of the arterial bed, based on the properties of the closed arterial system through which the blood flow travels. In this context, methodologies capable of assessing central parameters estimated using the pulse wave analysis, such as applanation tonometry, represent a promising adjuvant for evaluating patients with cardiovascular diseases, by providing detailed information concerning hemodynamic parameters otherwise inaccessible. In this scenario, the present review focuses on the applanation tonometry and its assessment on the radial artery, highlighting the importance of this method in the cardiovascular assessment, as well as its relevance in the clinical practice, when determining parameters peripherally obtained capable of estimating the central hemodynamic status.

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Sá da Fonseca, L. , Mota-Gomes, M. and Rabelo, L. (2014) Radial Applanation Tonometry as an Adjuvant Tool in the Noninvasive Arterial Stiffness and Blood Pressure Assessment. World Journal of Cardiovascular Diseases, 4, 225-235. doi: 10.4236/wjcd.2014.45030.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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