Heritability of cerebral arterial velocity and resistance

Adam Domonkos Tarnoki, David Laszlo Tarnoki, Maria Fabrizia Giannoni, Claudio Baracchini, Giorgio Meneghetti, Gabriela Cardaioli, Emanuela Medda, Maria Antonietta Stazi, Rodolfo Cotichini, Corrado Fagnani, Lorenza Nisticò, Pierleone Lucatelli, Fabrizio Fanelli, Viktor Berczi, Zsolt Garami, Levente Littvay, Giuseppe Schillaci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Aims: Cerebrovascular resistance is a pressure-dependent mechanism resulting from cerebral autoregulation, which is the normal buffering of changes in arterial blood pressure. Lifestyle habits are known to have an influence; however, its magnitude is still unclear. The aimof this study was to assess the contribution of additive genetic, shared and unshared environmental factors to changes in middle cerebral artery (MCA) mean flow velocities (MFVs) and pulsatility index. Methods: One hundred and forty-three Italian twin pairs from Padua, Perugia and Rome (68 monozygotic, 75 dizygotic, 55 ± 12 years) underwent transcranial Doppler sonography of the MCA bilaterally. Univariate quantitative genetic modeling was performed to decompose the phenotypic variance of averaged MFV and pulsatility index into additive genetic, shared and unique environmental effects adjusted by age and sex. Results: MFV was heritable in 30.6%[95% confidence interval (CI) 0.8-67.3%], and shared and unshared environmental factors explained 47.7 and 21.6% of the variance (95% CI 14.4-71.9% and 12.6-32.0%). Pulsatility index was not genetically determined, but unique and common environmental factors were responsible for 54.2 and 38.1% of the variance (95% CI 36.3-71.8% and 0.0-57.8%). Conclusion: These findings underline the importance of identification of the specific genes and common environmental factors related to MFV. Individuals with positive family history of stroke related to the atherosclerosis of MCA might take advantage from preventive ultrasound screening. More emphasis should be placed on the prevention of the known related common environmental factors on MFV and the individual lifestyle risk factors on pulsatility index.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)28-33
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Cardiovascular Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2017


  • Cerebral autoregulation
  • Cerebral hemodynamics
  • Genetics
  • Intracranial atherosclerosis
  • Transcranial doppler

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Heritability of cerebral arterial velocity and resistance'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this