Influence of blood flow velocity on arterial distensibility of carotid artery in healthy men

Tsubasa Tomoto, Seiji Maeda, Jun Sugawara*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Decreased distensibility of carotid artery is independently associated with the incidence of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular events. Arterial distensibility is determined by vascular tone. Since shear stress is an important driving force of vasodilatory substances production form endothelial cells, we hypothesized that local basal (i.e., resting) arterial blood flow velocity is associated with regional arterial distensibility. To test this hypothesis, we determined the influence of local blood flow velocity on carotid arterial distensibility in cross-sectional study design. In a total of 73 apparent healthy men (18–64 years), carotid arterial properties, including measures of carotid arterial distensibility and BFV at rest, were evaluated via B-mode and Doppler ultrasound imaging and applanation tonometry system. Carotid arterial peak BFV and the absolute and normalized pulsatile BFV significantly correlated with age (r = −0.453 to −0.600, p < 0.0001), whereas mean and minimum BFV were not influenced by age. Distensibility coefficient of carotid artery correlated with peak BFV (r = 0.305, p < 0.01) and more strongly with pulsatile (i.e., systolic minus end-diastolic) BFV (r = 0.406, p < 0.0001) and the normalized pulsatile BFV by time-averaged velocity (r = 0.591, p < 0.0001). Multi-regression analysis revealed that age (β = −0.57, p < 0.0001) was the primary independent determinant for distensibility coefficient. In addition with this, carotid lumen diameter (β = −0.202, p < 0.01) and the normalized pulsatile BFV (β = 0.237, p < 0.05) were significant independent determinants of distensibility coefficient. Qualitatively similar results (although inverse in direction) were obtained by use of β-stiffness index. These results suggest that greater gradient of blood flow velocity during a cardiac cycle are favorably associated with distensibility of carotid artery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-196
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Physiological Sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jan 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Aging
  • Arterial stiffness
  • Wall shear stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology


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