Inflammatory status and endothelial function in asymptomatic and symptomatic peripheral arterial disease

Antonio Silvestro, Francesco Scopacasa, Aldo Ruocco, Gabriella Oliva, Vittorio Schiano, Carmela Zincarelli, Gregorio Brevetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is a predictor of cardiovascular risk. However, it is unknown whether PAD severity influences inflammatory status and endothelial function, which play a major role in atherosclerosis. Accordingly, we measured brachial artery flow-mediated dilation (FMD), and plasma levels of several inflammatory markers in 15 control subjects, and 19 asymptomatic and 19 symptomatic PAD patients. Each symptomatic patient was matched to an asymptomatic patient for age, sex, risk factors, presence of cardiovascular disease, and pharmacological treatments. Asymptomatic patients had similar inflammatory profiles as controls, but lower median FMD (11.7% vs 8.5%, p <0.01). Compared with asymptomatic patients, symptomatic patients had higher median C-reactive protein (1.5 mg/I vs 6.0 mg/I, p <0.05) and interleukine-6 (1.5 pg/ml vs 3.5 pg/ml, p <0.05), and lower FMD (8.5% vs 5.1%, p <0.01). In the 38 PAD patients, the ankle/brachial pressure index correlated positively with FMD (p <0.01), and negatively with C-reactive protein (p <0.05), soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (p <0.05) and soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (p <0.05). Thus, in PAD, endothelial function and inflammatory status are related to the severity of the circulatory impairment. This finding may contribute to the explanation of the increasingly poor prognosis with increased PAD severity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-232
Number of pages8
JournalVascular Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2003


  • Adhesion molecules
  • Endothelial dysfunction
  • Inflammation
  • Peripheral arterial disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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