Pulse waves are flow velocity, pressure, and diameter waves generated by ventricular ejection. Their propagation speeds and patterns are related to the vascular mechanical properties (e.g., arterial stiffness). Because of the limitation of temporal and spatial resolution, the widely-used foot-to-foot method measures the average value of the pulse-wave velocity (PWV) between two points with a long distance apart (>10 cm), instead of the regional value. However, mechanical properties are nonuniform along the arteries and diseases are typically regional.
Because of the high temporal and spatial resolution, this state-of-the-art technique may allow early detection and non-invasive mapping of vascular diseases, which may decrease mortality among high-risk patients.