Aortic Wall Stress in Hypertension and Ascending Thoracic Aortic Aneurysms: Implications for Antihypertensive Therapy

Rabkin, Simon W.; Janusz, Michael T.
December 2013
High Blood Pressure & Cardiovascular Prevention;Dec2013, Vol. 20 Issue 4, p265
Academic Journal
The objective of this study was the evaluation of aortic wall stress in patients with ascending thoracic aortic aneurysms (TAA) because of the paucity of data to guide medical therapy for blood pressure (BP) management in TAA. Twelve men, age 67.4 ± 3.3 years (SEM) with hypertension and ascending TAA without other etiology, previous aortic surgery or associated significant aortic valve disease, had maximum dimensions of the ascending aorta measured from CT angiogram (CTa) and transthoracic echocardiogram (TTE) with aortic wall thickness measured on TTE. Wall stress (WS( σ)(P)) at peak systolic BP (SBP) was expressed by the equation: WS( σ)(P) = 2LCSA × SBP/ MCSA, where LCSA is ascending aorta luminal cross-sectional area; M CSA is the surface area of the aortic wall cross sectional area considering aortic wall thickness. There was no significant difference in wall stress from TTE or CTa although mean wall stress was slightly larger when calculated from CTa. For each 5 mmHg increment in Systolic BP (SBP), there was a 3.9 kPa increase in wall stress that was 3.5 kPa for small aneurysms (40 to <45 mm) and 4.4 kPa for larger aneurysms (45–52 mm). There was a 33.0 ± 1.2 % reduction in wall stress when SBP went from 165 to 110 mmHg with a 21.0 ± 0.7 % reduction in wall stress found when SBP was reduced from 140 to 110 mmHg. These data, in patients with hypertension and ascending TAA suggest that meaningful reductions in aortic wall stress occur with reductions of SBP and this benefit extends to SBP levels <140 mmHg.


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