Endothelial function testing and cardiovascular disease: focus on peripheral arterial tonometry
Rosa Maria Bruno,1 Tommaso Gori,2 Lorenzo Ghiadoni3
1Institute of Clinical Physiology CNR, Pisa, Italy; 2Department of Medicine II, University Medical Center of the Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz, Mainz, Germany; 3Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy
Abstract: During recent decades, a number of methods have been developed to assess endothelial function, contributing to a better understanding of the pathophysiology of cardiovascular disease. Recently, the advent of noninvasive, reproducible techniques for assessment of endothelial function has opened novel possibilities of application in the clinical setting. Peripheral arterial tonometry is a relatively novel, user-friendly technique measuring finger pulse volume amplitude changes induced by reactive hyperemia following 5 minutes of ischemia in the upper limb. Current evidence indicates that this technique has the potential to significantly impact the field of cardiovascular research and prevention of cardiovascular disease. However, a number of methodological, pathophysiological, and clinical aspects still need to be clarified before widespread application of this promising technique. This review focuses on the current knowledge and future perspectives of peripheral arterial tonometry, in comparison with the most widely used noninvasive technique, ie, flow-mediated dilation.
Keywords: endothelium, reactive hyperemia, microcirculation
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