Central aortic blood pressure (BP) measurement was a hot topic at the European Society of Hypertension (ESH) and International Society of Hypertension (ISH) 2014 Joint Meeting a few weeks ago in Athens, Greece. Most notable amongst these was the debate as to whether central BP measurements are relevant for everyday clinical practice. It’s only logical to conclude that large clinical trials are necessary prior to arguing convincingly either way - we simply need more data. However, as someone who supports the development and utilization of technological advancements, I tend to believe that there is a place in clinical practice for these contemporary characterizations of cardiovascular health.
So, what does the future hold for the development and use of central BP data? Recent evidence already suggests that central BP measurements are more strongly correlated to future cardiovascular events than those indicated by brachial BP measurements. The increased use of central BP data in a clinical setting will hinge on whether or not the following things come to fruition:
- Creating accessibility of validated measurement devices to practitioners
- Providing proper education for the analysis of central BP waveform characteristics
- Standardizing a validation protocol to ensure adequate device performance
Regardless of where you stand in this debate, it’s tough to deny the potential value that central BP measurement brings to the fight against hypertension.