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Arterial stiffness and stroke: de-stiffening strategy, a therapeutic target for stroke
  1. Yajing Chen1,2,
  2. Fanxia Shen1,
  3. Jianrong Liu1,
  4. Guo-Yuan Yang1,3
  1. 1 Department of Neurology, Ruijin Hospital and Ruijin Hospital North, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China
  2. 2 Department of Neurology, Shanghai General Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China
  3. 3 Neuroscience and Neuroengineering Center, Med-X Research Institute and School of Biomedical Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China
  1. Correspondence to Jianrong Liu, liujr300{at}; Guo-Yuan Yang, gyyang0626{at}


Stroke is the second leading cause of mortality and morbidity worldwide. Early intervention is of great importance in reducing disease burden. Since the conventional risk factors cannot fully account for the pathogenesis of stroke, it is extremely important to detect useful biomarkers of the vascular disorder for appropriate intervention. Arterial stiffness, a newly recognised reliable feature of arterial structure and function, is demonstrated to be associated with stroke onset and serve as an independent predictor of stroke incidence and poststroke functional outcomes. In this review article, different measurements of arterial stiffness, especially pressure wave velocity, were discussed. We explained the association between arterial stiffness and stroke occurrence by discussing the secondary haemodynamic changes. We reviewed clinical data that support the prediction role of arterial stiffness on stroke. Despite the lack of long-term randomised double-blind controlled therapeutic trials, it is high potential to reduce stroke prevalence through a significant reduction of arterial stiffness (which is called de-stiffening therapy). Pharmacological interventions or lifestyle modification that can influence blood pressure, arterial function or structure in either the short or long term are promising de-stiffening therapies. Here, we summarised different de-stiffening strategies including antihypertension drugs, antihyperlipidaemic agents, chemicals that target arterial remodelling and exercise training. Large and well-designed clinical trials on de-stiffening strategy are needed to testify the prevention effect for stroke. Novel techniques such as modern microscopic imaging and reliable animal models would facilitate the mechanistic analyses in pathophysiology, pharmacology and therapeutics.

  • Arterial Stiffness
  • Blood Pressure
  • De-stiffening
  • Pulse Wave Velocity
  • Stroke

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  • Contributors YC and FS wrote the manuscript. JL and G-YY organised, revised and finished the manuscript.

  • Funding This work was supported by NSFC project 81070939 (G-YY) and U1232205 (G-YY).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement No additional data are available.

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