Reliability of oscillometric central blood pressure and central systolic loading in individuals over 50 years: Effects of posture and fasting


      • Effect of posture and fasted state on central blood pressure estimation was observed.
      • Interaction effects for posture and fasted state reported for some central measures.
      • Fasting state had a greater influence on central pressures when seated than supine.
      • Oscillometric wave reflection has acceptable between-day reliability in over 50s.
      • SphygmoCor XCEL may be a suitable tool for clinical use in an older population.


      Background and aims

      The between-day reliability of oscillometric pulse wave analysis has been demonstrated in a young, healthy population but not in an older sample. This study examined the between-day reliability of the SphygmoCor XCEL in individuals over 50 years. As blood pressure is measured in a range of postures and fasting states (supine/seated, fasted/non-fasted), this study also investigated the effect of these variables on central blood pressure and central systolic loading.


      Fifty-one adults (m = 21; age 57 ± 6.4 y) were tested on three mornings in supine and seated conditions and in fasted and non-fasted states. Data was analysed as a whole and for normotensive (n = 25) and hypertensive participants (n = 26).


      SphygmoCor XCEL demonstrated strong reliability in the whole sample for central systolic and diastolic blood pressures, augmentation index (AIx) and AIx75 (ICC = 0.77–0.95). Significant interaction effects were observed in central diastolic blood pressure, central pulse pressure, augmentation index (AIx) and AIx75 (p < 0.05; η p 2  = 0.10–0.23). Fasting state had a greater influence on central pressures in a seated than supine posture, but a greater effect on central systolic loading measures in a supine posture.


      The SphygmoCor XCEL is a reliable tool to assess central haemodynamic variables in an older population. It would be pertinent for clinicians and researchers to record central measures in a supine posture to minimise the effects of food consumption. Conversely, the assessment of central systolic loading should occur in a seated condition to minimise the influence of varying fasting states.



      Aix (augmentation index), AIx75 (augmentation index corrected to a heart rate of 75b-min−1), AP (augmented pressure), BP (blood pressure), cBP (central blood pressure), cDBP (central diastolic blood pressure), cSBP (central systolic blood pressure), cPP (central pulse pressure), DBP (diastolic blood pressure), ICC (intra-class correlation coefficient), SBP (systolic blood pressure)
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