The association of endothelial dysfunction and cardiovascular events in healthy subjects and patients with cardiovascular disease

Michael Shechter, Ibrahim Marai, Saed Marai, Yaniv Sherer, Ben-Ami Sela, Micha S Feinberg, Ardon Rubinstein, Yehuda Shoenfeld
Israel Medical Association Journal: IMAJ 2007, 9 (4): 271-6

BACKGROUND: Endothelial dysfunction is recognized as a major factor in the development of atherosclerosis and it has a prognostic value.

OBJECTIVES: To detect the long-term association of peripheral vascular endothelial function and clinical outcome in healthy subjects and patients with cardiovascular disease.

METHODS: We prospectively assessed brachial artery flow-mediated dilatation in 110 consecutive subjects (46 CVD patients and 64 healthy controls), mean age 57 +/- 11 years; 68 were men. After an overnight fast and discontinuation of all medications for > or = 12 hours, percent improvement in FMD and nitroglycerin-mediated vasodilatation were assessed using high resolution ultrasound.

RESULTS: %FMD but not %NTG was significantly lower in CVD patients (9.5 +/- 8.0% vs. 13.5 +/- 8.0%, P = 0.012) compared to healthy controls (13.4 +/- 8.0% vs. 16.7 +/- 11.0%, P = 0.084; respectively). In addition, an inverse correlation between %FMD and the number of traditional CVD risk factors was found among all study participants (r = -0.23, P = 0.015) and healthy controls (r = -0.23, P = 0.036). In a mean follow-up of 15 +/- 2 months, the composite CVD endpoints (all-cause mortality, myocardial infarction, hospitalization for heart failure or angina pectoris, stroke, coronary artery bypass grafting and percutaneous coronary interventions) were significantly more common in subjects with FMD < 6% compared to subjects with FMD > 6% (33.3% vs. 12.1%, P < 0.03, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS: Thus, brachial artery %FMD provides important prognostic information in addition to that derived from traditional risk factor assessment.

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