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Measurement of endothelial function and its clinical utility for cardiovascular risk

Authors Al-Qaisi M, Kharbanda RK, Mittal TK, Donald AE

Published 6 June 2008 Volume 2008:4(3) Pages 647—652


Mo Al-Qaisi1, Rajesh K Kharbanda1, Tarun K Mittal1, Ann E Donald2

1Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Trust, London, UK; 2Institute of Child Health and Great Ormond Street Hospital, NHS Trust, London, UK

Abstract: Over the past two decades, the central role of the endothelium in the initiation, progression, and clinical sequelae of atherosclerosis has been increasingly recognized. Assessment of the pathobiology of the endothelium and its ability to act as a potential therapeutic target remains an area of active research interest. Whilst endothelial function has been shown to be a marker for risk of cardiovascular events in high-risk groups, there remains considerable debate about the most appropriate way to assess this. We discuss the different clinical methods to assess endothelial function, focusing on flow-mediated dilatation (FMD) of the brachial artery, highlighting the importance of using a standardized methodology, as well as discussing the clinical limitations of using FMD in individuals.

Keywords: endothelial function, flow-mediated dilatation, clinical utility, cardiovascular risk

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