JOURNAL ARTICLE

Impaired brachial flow-mediated dilation is a predictor of a new-onset vascular event after stroke

Diego Santos-García, Miguel Blanco, Joaquín Serena, Manuel Rodríguez-Yáñez, Rogelio Leira, José Castillo
Cerebrovascular Diseases 2011, 32 (2): 155-62
21778713

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Brachial arterial flow-mediated dilation (FMD) is associated with an increased risk of vascular events. Our aim was to investigate the relationship between FMD measured in the acute phase of ischemic stroke and a new major adverse vascular event in a consecutive cohort of patients followed up for 48 months after an acute first-ever stroke.

METHODS: We measured FMD in 120 consecutive patients with acute ischemic stroke using high-resolution ultrasonography. FMD was calculated as the relationship between the basal diameter of the brachial artery before and after transient vascular occlusion. Intima-media thickness, extracranial carotid atherosclerosis, stroke severity National Institute of Health Stroke Scale, and modified Rankin Scale at 3 months were also evaluated. A vascular event was defined as any of the following: vascular disease (VD) death, nonfatal myocardial infarction (MI), nonfatal recurrent stroke (RS), claudication or peripheral arterial thrombosis (PVD), angioplasty or cardiac bypass graft surgery.

RESULTS: There were 34 new major adverse vascular events in 32 of 120 patients (26.7%): 21 (61.8%) RS, 5 (14.7%) VD death, 5 (14.7%) MI, and 3 (8.8%) PVD. The presence of carotid artery plaque (81.3 vs. 46%; p < 0.0001), atrial fibrillation (37.5 vs. 14.8%; p = 0.007) and FMD (5.30 ± 7.48 vs. 10.54 ± 7.02; p = 0.001) were associated with new-onset vascular events. FMD ≤4.5% was an independent predictor of new-onset vascular events (hazards ratio 3.48; 95% confidence interval 1.26-9.63; p = 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS: FMD is an independent predictor for a new-onset vascular event after first-ever ischemic stroke.

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