Backward in Coming Forward.

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Mäki-Petäjä, Kaisa M 
Wilkinson, Ian B 

As far back as the ancient Egyptians and Greeks, physicians have observed and interpreted the arterial pulse to help diagnose certain illnesses. However, until William Harvey’s discoveries in the 17th century, some of the basic concepts were misunderstood. Harvey described the circular blood flow in the body and discovered that the arterial pulse is generated by the contraction of the left ventricle. He also came up with the concept that the arterial pulse is a wave, thus paving the way for modern studies in pulse wave analysis. Another pivotal discovery was the introduction of pulse wave velocity (PWV) by Crighton Bramwell in the early 20th century. He recognised that PWV changes in proportion to the arterial wall tension and blood pressure, and thus, is an indirect measure of atrial wall elasticity1. Despite these important historic discoveries, it has only been in the last 20 years, with advances in modern engineering, that the pulse wave analysis has become more widely available, reliable, and reproducible technique to assess arterial pulse waves.

32 Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, 3201 Cardiovascular Medicine and Haematology, 3202 Clinical Sciences
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Am J Hypertens
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Oxford University Press (OUP)
British Heart Foundation (None)
British Heart Foundation (None)
British Heart Foundation (None)
Professor Wilkinson is funded by British Heart Foundation (Grant number: FS/12/8/29377).