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Clinical appraisal of arterial stiffness: the Argonauts in front of the Golden Fleece
  1. C Vlachopoulos,
  2. K Aznaouridis,
  3. C Stefanadis
  1. 1st Department of Cardiology, University of Athens Medical School, Hippokration Hospital, Athens, Greece
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr Christodoulos Stefanadis
    9 Tepeleniou St, Paleo Psychico, 154 52 Athens, Greece; cstefan{at}


Interest in evaluating arterial elastic properties has grown in parallel with the widespread availability of non-invasive methods for assessing arterial stiffness. A clinically useful diagnostic index must be pathophysiologically relevant, must be readily measurable, and must indicate the severity of the disease and predict the corresponding risk. Interventional modification of this index must parallel disease regression and benefit prognosis. The current evidence for the clinical value of estimating arterial stiffness (mainly of large, elastic-type arteries, such as the aorta and the carotids) in the contemporary era of cardiovascular medicine is reviewed.

  • ASCOT, Anglo-Scandinavian Cardiac Outcomes Trial
  • CAD, coronary artery disease
  • CV, cardiovascular
  • HOPE, Heart Outcomes Prevention Evaluation
  • LIFE, Losartan Intervention For Endpoint reduction in hypertension

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  • Published Online First 9 December 2005

  • Funding: None declared.

  • Competing interests: None declared.

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  • Editorial
    BMJ Publishing Group Ltd and British Cardiovascular Society