Methodological Considerations for a Vascular Function Test Battery

Rachel Kimble, Karen Keane, John Lodge, Glyn Howatson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
16 Downloads (Pure)


There is a dearth of information regarding the reliability of non-invasive measures of vascular function taken in a single testing session. This study aimed to determine the test-retest reliability of a test battery of vascular function measures: automated blood pressure (BP), laser Doppler imaging with iontophoresis (LDI), digital volume pulse (DVP), pulse wave velocity (PWV), augmentation index (AIx) measured by pulse wave analysis (PWA) and flow-mediated dilation (FMD) taken within and between sessions. Measures were taken in 21 non-smoking males intra-session and again inter-session (one week apart) to determine repeatability and reproducibility, respectively. There was moderate to excellent repeatability (ICC: 0.53-0.93; CV=2.2-18.1%) and reproducibility (ICC: 0.71-0.96; CV 1.9-14.2%) for BP, DVP stiffness index, PWV, AIx, AIx normalised to heart rate (75 bpm), absolute and percentage FMD. Repeatability of the DVP reflection index was moderate (ICC: 0.64; CV=9.5%) but there was poor reproducibility (ICC: 0.17; CV=15.1%). Moreover, the repeatability and reproducibility of the LDI measures ranged from poor to good (ICC: 0.31-0.84; CV=28.4-36.7%). These data indicated that there was considerable variability in the repeatability and reproducibility of measurements of endothelial function and arterial stiffness taken in a battery of measurements, which needs careful consideration in future research designs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)601-608
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number9
Early online date15 Jul 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2019


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