Central Aortic Systolic Pressure (CASP)

What is CASP?

Central Aortic Systolic Pressure (CASP) is the maximum pressure at the root of aorta or the largest artery in the body, as blood is being pumped out of the heart.  When we are young, below 40 years old, CASP is different with and usually lower than the brachial systolic blood pressure (SBP), the difference between CASP and the brachial SBP can be significant (up to 30 mmHg).  As we age, the aorta gets stiffer and the compliance reduces.  As a result, the CASP increases closer to the brachial SBP.  In patients with high blood pressure, the CASP can be abnormally high for their age, suggesting "pre-mature" stiffening of the aorta.