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      Effect of age on the in vitro reflection coefficient of the aortoiliac bifurcation in humans.


      Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Aging, physiology, Animals, Aorta, Blood Pressure, Cattle, Child, Child, Preschool, Female, Humans, Iliac Artery, Iliac Vein, Infant, Male, Middle Aged, Vascular Resistance, Models, Cardiovascular, Regional Blood Flow, Time Factors

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          The local reflection coefficient (r) at the aortoiliac junction was estimated in vessels removed at autopsy from 15 females and 31 males aged 2 months to 88 years by calculating the characteristic impedance (Zc) of the abdominal aorta and the two common iliac arteries. Zc was evaluated for each vessel by measuring cross-sectional area from radiographs and propagation velocity of an isolated pressure impulse generated by a solenoid-driven piston connected to the distal end of the abdominal aorta, and detected at several sites a known distance from the junction. Attenuation coefficients in the aorta were estimated from the peak amplitude of the impulse at these several sites. We observed significant decreases with age in abdominal aortic attenuation coefficient (gamma = 0.053-5 x 10(-4) age [yr], r = -0.42, p less than 0.005), and the area ratio (AR) of the junction (sum of the iliac cross-sectional areas/aortic cross-sectional area) (AR = 0.93-0.002 x age [yr], r = -0.31, p less than 0.05). Bifurcation angle (Angle) and aortic propagation velocity (caorta) increased significantly (angle = 40.2 + 0.26 x age [yr], r = 0.41, p less than 0.01; caorta (ms-1) = 7.59 + 0.175 x age [yr], r = 0.69, p less than 0.0001). No significant association between age and iliac propagation velocity was found. On the basis of area measurements alone, it has been argued that the observed decrease in area ratio with age causes r to become more positive. The lack of age-related changes in iliac propagation velocity (and hence stiffness), an observation confirmed by most of the few reports in the literature, and the large increase in abdominal aortic stiffness, however, greatly outweighed the area ratio changes and caused a significant decline in reflection coefficient from +0.3 in early life to -0.3 in old age. (Reflection coefficient = 0.30-0.0065 x age [yr], r = -0.68, p less than 0.0001). Between the ages of 30 and 60 years, its absolute value was less than 0.1, confirming in vivo work on subjects within this age range. In children, a significant positive reflection at the distal end of the aorta will amplify the pulse wave in this region. As this vessel becomes stiffer with increasing age, amplification will increase, whereas the increasingly negative value of r will partially offset this rise, reducing pulse pressure on either side of the junction.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

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