Excellence in Higher Degree Research – Science & Engineering (Highly Commended 2014)

Audrey Adji MB MBiomedE, Faculty of Human Sciences

Effect of age on the relationship between ascending aortic pressure and flow

With increasing age, the central elastic aorta stiffens progressively; ill-effects include higher systolic blood pressure and impairment of left ventricular function. The former is attributable to the increasing peak of the ascending aortic pressure wave, while the latter is apparent from subtle alteration of cardiac ejection pattern manifested as ascending aortic flow wave. These can be estimated non-invasively using applanation tonometry (pressure) and ultrasound or cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (flow). By exploiting the near-linear relationship between pressure and flow, we can estimate ascending aortic impedance as an accurate measure of left ventricular hydraulic load, and study its change with ageing.

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