Relation of flow-mediated dilation to global arterial load: Impact of hypertension and additional cardiovascular risk factors

Vittorio Palmieri, Cesare Russo, Salvatore Pezzullo, Matteo Nicola Dario Di Minno, Aldo Celentano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Endothelial dysfunction may be related to increased left ventricular (LV) mass due to an association between endothelial dysfunction with increased arterial load. Therefore, we evaluated whether brachial artery flow-mediated dilation (FMD) is related to global arterial load. Methods: Pulse pressure/stroke index (PP/SVi, global arterial stiffness, prognostically validated), stroke volume/PP (SV/PP, global arterial compliance), and % of the predicted SV/PP by heart rate, age and body weight (confounder-adjusted global compliance, prognostically validated) were used as LV geometry-related indices of global arterial load. Results: Compared to normotensive participants (NT, n = 50), those with hypertension (HTN, n = 51) had lower FMD (8.3% ± 5.4 vs. 12.8% ± 6.5), higher PP/SVi (1.24 ± 0.34 vs. 1.04 ± 0.28 mm Hg m 2/ml), higher LV mass and higher relative wall thickness (all p <0.01); in contrast, SV/PP and % of predicted SV/PP did not differ between NT and HTN (all p > 0.1). Impaired FMD was 3-4-fold more prevalent than LV hypertrophy or increased arterial load both in NT and in HTN. Within NT and HTN separately, PP/SVi, SV/PP and % of predicted SV/PP were comparable among tertiles of FMD. Only in NT, lower FMD was associated with higher peak exercise systolic BP (p <0.05). In multivariable regression models, FMD was not associated with indices of arterial load independently (all p > 0.1). Conclusions: In young-to-middle-age subjects with cardiovascular risk factors, impaired FMD is more prevalent than traditional preclinical manifestation of cardiovascular disease, and may exist independent to increased arterial load. Thus, endothelial dysfunction assessment may refine cardiovascular risk profile and risk-reduction strategies based on detection of traditional target organ damage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-230
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Cardiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Oct 20 2011


  • Cardiovascular
  • Echocardiography
  • Endothelium
  • Heart
  • Stiffness
  • Vessels

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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