Does conduit artery diameter vary according to the anthropometric characteristics of children or men?

N.D. Hopkins, T.M. Tinken, L. Sutton, Daniel Green, N. Mcwhannell, D.H.J. Thijssen, N.T. Cable, G. Stratton, K. George

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    10 Citations (Scopus)


    Arterial measurements are commonly undertaken to assess acute and chronic adaptations to exercise. Despite the widespread adoption of scaling practices in cardiac research, the relevance of scaling for body size and/or composition has not been addressed for arterial measures. We therefore investigated the relationships between brachial artery diameter and body composition in 129 children aged 9 to 10 yr (75 girls and 54 boys), and 50 men aged 16–49 yr. Body composition variables (total, lean, and fat mass in the whole body, arm, and forearm) were assessed by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, and brachial artery diameter was measured using high-resolution ultrasound. Bivariate correlations were performed, and arterial diameter was then scaled using simple ratios (y/x) and allometric approaches after log-log least squares linear regression and production of allometric exponents (b) and construction of power function ratios (y/xb). Size independence was checked via bivariate correlations (x:y/x; x:y/xb). As a result, significant correlations existed between brachial artery diameter and measures of body mass and lean mass in both cohorts (r = 0.21–0.48, P <0.05). There were no significant relationships between diameter and fat mass. All b exponents were significantly different from 1 (0.08–0.50), suggesting that simple ratio scaling approaches were likely to be flawed. This was confirmed when ratio scaling produced negative residual size correlations, whereas allometric scaling produced size-independent indexes (r = 0.00 to 0.03, P > 0.05). In conclusion, when between- or within-group comparisons are performed under circumstances where it is important to control for differences in body size or composition, allometric scaling of artery diameter should be adopted rather than ratio scaling. Our data also suggest that scaling for lean or total mass may be more appropriate than scaling for indexes of fat mass.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)H2182-H2187
    JournalAmerican journal of physiology : heart and circulatory physiology
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - 2009


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