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Intertester reliability of brachial artery flow-mediated vasodilation using upper and lower arm occlusion in healthy subjects

Authors Cosio-Lima LM, Seip R, Thompson PD, Lagasse MA, Hodges TH

Published 6 June 2008 Volume 2008:4(3) Pages 731—734


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Ludmila M Cosio-Lima1, Richard Seip2, Paul D Thompson2, Marie A Lagasse2, Tabitha H Hodges1

1University of West Florida, Pensacola, FL, USA; 2Hartford Hospital, Hartford, CT, USA

Abstract: The assessment of endothelial function as brachial artery flow-mediated vasodilatation is a widely used technique that determines the effect of risk factor intervention and may have the potential to predict the clinical benefit of antiatherogenic therapy. Previous studies suggest that flow-mediated dilation is greater using the upper-arm occlusion technique, but no data are available to compare intertester reliability between technicians. This study was undertaken to compare the amount of hyperemia between upper and lower occlusion techniques and to determine reproducibility between testers. Nineteen healthy adults, ages 25 to 50, were included in the study. Brachial artery vasodilatation was measured 1 and 3 minutes post cuff deflation and was compared with the baseline and expressed as a percent change. There was a tester effect in the percent change in diameter across all measurements. The results of this study reveal inconsistencies between testers when using a blood pressure cuff to induce hyperemia for the assessment of endothelial function through brachial artery flow-mediated vasodilation. However, upper arm as compared to lower arm blood pressure cuff occlusion results in significantly greater hyperemia and vasodilatation, even though there was a difference in measurements between testers.

Keywords: endothelial function, flow-mediated vasodilatation, hyperemia

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