Title

Dynamic Effects of Aortic Arch Stiffening on Pulsatile Energy Transmission to Cerebral Vasculature as A Determinant of Brain-Heart Coupling

Document Type

Article

Abstract

Aortic stiffness increases with age and is a robust predictor of brain pathology including Alzheimer's and other dementias. Aging causes disproportionate stiffening of the aorta compared with the carotid arteries, reducing protective impedance mismatches at their interface and affecting transmission of destructive pulsatile energy to the cerebral circulation. Recent clinical studies have measured regional stiffness within the aortic arch using pulse wave velocity (PWV) and have found a stronger association with cerebrovascular events than global stiffness measures. However, effects of aortic arch PWV on the transmission of harmful excessive pulsatile energy to the brain is not well-understood. In this study, we use an energy-based analysis of hemodynamic waves to quantify the effect of aortic arch stiffening on transmitted pulsatility to cerebral vasculature, employing a computational approach using a one-dimensional model of the human vascular network. Results show there exists an optimum wave condition-occurring near normal human heart rates-that minimizes pulsatile energy transmission to the brain. This indicates the important role of aortic arch biomechanics on heart-brain coupling. Our results also suggest that energy-based indices of pulsatility combining pressure and flow data are more sensitive to increased stiffness than using flow or pressure pulsatility indices in isolation.

Medical Subject Headings

Aorta, Thoracic (physiology); Biomechanical Phenomena; Brain (blood supply); Carotid Arteries (physiology); Humans; Models, Biological; Pulsatile Flow; Pulse Wave Analysis; Vascular Stiffness

Publication Date

5-29-2020

Publication Title

Scientific reports

E-ISSN

2045-2322

Volume

10

Issue

1

First Page

8784

PubMed ID

32472027

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

10.1038/s41598-020-65616-7

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