Vascular-ventricular coupling is a major determinant of left ventricular load. The aim of our study was to assess non- invasively left ventricular load and its dependency on central hemodynamics. Sixty-five healthy and gender-matched individuals were divided in two groups according to their age: 20y/o and 50y/o. Applanation tonometry was performed using the Sphygmocor device. Central pressures and pulse wave analysis indices were computed. Central systolic (120±3 vs. 98±2 mm Hg) and pulse pressures (43±3 vs. 29±1 mm Hg) as well as the augmentation index (AIx75) (23±3 vs. 6±2%) were significantly higher in the 50y/o group (p<0.01). These parameters are relevant markers of arterial stiffness and evidenced the development of central arterial morphological and functional alterations in the older subjects. The time-tension index (TTI) computed from the systolic pressure area was significantly higher in the 50y/o subjects as compared to the 20y/o group (2378±66 vs. 1954±73 mmHg×s, p<0.01). Moreover, we have shown the presence of significant correlation between TTI and AIx75 (p<0.01) in both age groups. This finding confirmed the contribution of arterial stiffness for the impaired vascular-ventricular coupling. In conclusion, applanation tonometry might be utilized for non-invasive evaluation of the left ventricular load, which is an important parameter of cardiovascular risk.
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