Arterial compliance (C) has been measured in 18 children known to have had a single umbilical artery at birth. Non-invasive ultrasonic Doppler techniques were used to measure C for the aorta, iliac, and leg arteries. Anomalous compliance was found between the two iliac vessels, and it is suggested that this is the result of haemodynamic stress-induced changes during development. The demonstration that the form of large arteries may be changed by altered haemodynamic stress and that their physiological function is thus affected, may have important implications in the pathogenesis of degenerative disease.
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