This review critiques the literature supporting clinical assessment and management of cardiovascular disease and cardiovascular disease risk stratification with brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity (baPWV). First, we outline what baPWV actually measures-arterial stiffness of both large central elastic arteries and medium-sized muscular peripheral arteries of the lower limb. Second, we argue that baPWV is not a surrogate for carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity. While both measures are dependent on the properties of the aorta, baPWV is also strongly dependent on the muscular arteries of the lower extremities. Increased lower-extremity arterial stiffness amplifies and hastens wave reflections at the level of the aorta, widens pulse pressure, increases afterload, and reduces coronary perfusion. Third, we used an established evaluation framework to identify the value of baPWV as an independent vascular biomarker. There is sufficient evidence to support (1) proof of concept; (2) prospective validation; (3) incremental value; and (4) clinical utility. However, there is limited or no evidence to support (5) clinical outcomes; (6) cost-effectiveness; (7) methodological consensus; or (8) reference values. Fourth, we address future research requirements. The majority of the evaluation criteria ( proof of concept,  prospective validation,  incremental value,  clinical utility, and  reference values) can be supported using existing cohort datasets, whereas the (5) clinical outcomes and (6) cost-effectiveness criteria require prospective investigation. The (8) methodological consensus criteria will require an expert consensus statement. Finally, we finish this review by providing an example of a future clinical practice model.
Field of Science*
- 3.2 Clinical medicine
- 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database