Background and objectives: Clinical evidence shows that central (aortic) blood pressure (CBP) is a better marker of cardiovascular risk than brachial pressure . However, CBP can only be accurately measured invasively, through catheterisation. We propose a novel approach to estimate CBP non-invasively from aortic MRI data and a non-invasive peripheral (brachial) pressure measurement, using a one-dimensional (1-D) model of aortic blood flow.
Methods: We created a population of virtual (computed) subjects, each with distinctive arterial pulse waveforms available at multiple arterial locations, to assess our approach. This was achieved by varying cardiac (stroke volume, cardiac period, time of systole) and arterial (pulse wave velocity, peripheral vascular resistance) parameters of a distributed 1-D model of the larger systemic arteries  within a wide range of physiologically plausible values. After optimising our algorithm for the aortic 1-D model in silico, we tested its accuracy in a clinical population of 8 post-coarctation repair patients.
Results: Results from our in silico study, after varying cardiac and arterial parameters by ±30%, showed maximum relative errors for systolic, mean and diastolic CBP of 4.5%, 3.6% and 4.2%, respectively. Average relative errors for systolic, mean and diastolic CBP were 2.7%, 0.9% and 1.2%, respectively. Corresponding average relative errors from our clinical study were 5.4%, 1.5% and 8.0%.