Low dose of acetylsalicylic acid and oxidative stress-mediated endothelial dysfunction in diabetes: a short-term evaluation

Eliezer Joseph Tassone, Maria Perticone, Angela Sciacqua, Simona Fortunata Mafrici, Chiara Settino, Natalia Malara, Vincenzo Mollace, Giorgio Sesti, Francesco Perticone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Current guidelines suggest the use of low doses of acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) for patients with diabetes mellitus (DM) in primary prevention. However, the evidences demonstrating the beneficial effect of ASA in primary prevention are conflicting. In this pilot study, we evaluated in a group of diabetic patients, in primary prevention, the impact of ASA treatment on oxidative stress and vascular function. We enrolled 22 newly diagnosed diabetic patients, without any previous clinical evidence of cardiovascular disease, to receive, in primary prevention, ASA (100 mg/daily). We tested, in basal condition, after 4 weeks of ASA administration and after 4 weeks of pharmacological washout, the impact of ASA treatment on endothelial function, assessed by a semipletysmographic method, measuring the main oxidative stress parameters related to it. As expected, after 4 weeks of treatment, ASA induced a significant reduction of plasma thromboxane-A2, as a consequence of cyclooxygenase-1 inhibition. By contrast, ASA significantly increased the plasma and urine 8-iso-PGF2α, a well-known prothrombotic molecule, parallel to an increase of plasma NOX2 levels. The enhancement of this oxidative pathway is associated with a significant impairment of endothelial vasodilation, assessed by reactive hyperemia index (RHI). The pharmacological washout reverted all parameters to basal condition. Our findings suggest that ASA utilization for primary prevention in diabetic patients causes a significant increase of oxidative stress burden impairing the vascular function. Present data, if confirmed on a larger population, could permanently discourage the use of the ASA for the primary prevention in patients with DM.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-256
Number of pages8
JournalActa Diabetologica
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 6 2014


  • Aspirin
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Endothelial dysfunction
  • Oxidative stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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