This study aims to investigate arterial distensibility by using carotid-femoral (aortic) pulse wave velocity measurements in Patients with cardiac syndrome X. The authors studied 10 patients with cardiac syndrome X (mean age 49.4 +/- 7.5, 39 to 67 years old, 3 men) and 10 healthy subjects (mean age 50.0 +/- 10.5, 38 to 70 years old, 3 men). Carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity measured by a Complior Colson device was calculated for each patient. The carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity was increased in patients with cardiac syndrome X as compared with age-matched control subjects (10.25 +/- 1.28 vs 8.95 +/- 0.89 m/s, p=0.01). In contrast, there were no significant differences in the age, weight, height, body mass index, waist/hip ratio, systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, mean blood pressure, pulse pressure, and heart rate (P=0.76, p=0.17, p=0.36, p=0.08, p=0.21, p=0.14, p=0.89, p=0.30, P=0.10, p = 0.36, respectively). No significant correlation was found between pulse wave velocity and age, sex, height, weight, heart rate, systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, mean blood pressure, and pulse pressure in the studied groups (p > 0.05). The arterial distensibility was decreased in patients with cardiac syndrome X. The deterioration in these patients showed that this disease might be a more generalized disturbance of the vasculature. Measurements of carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity may provide a simple and noninvasive technique to identify patients at increased risk of vascular disease.