Reproducibility and agreement of different non-invasive methods of endothelial function assessment

K Ibrahimi, Young de Graaf, Richard Draijer, AHJ Danser, Antoinette Maassen van den Brink, Ton van den Meiracker

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Flow-mediated dilatation (FMD) is an established, but investigator-demanding method, used to non-invasively determine nitric oxide (NO)-dependent endothelial function in humans. Local thermal hyperemia (LTH) or post-occlusive reactive hyperemia (PORH) of the skin measured with a laser Doppler flow imager may be a less demanding alternative of FMD. We investigated the reproducibility of the different measures of vascular function, their interrelationship and the NO-dependency of LTH. Measurements were performed twice in 27 healthy men (8 smokers), one week apart. Local application of NG-monomethyl-l-arginine (L-NMMA) by means of iontophoresis was used to determine the NO-dependency of LTH. Using L-NMMA, the peak and plateau responses of LTH were reduced by 31% (p < .001) and 65% (<0.001), respectively. For all measurements the coefficient of variation (CV) was higher in smokers than in non-smokers. For non-smokers the CV of FMD was 12%, of LTH peak response 17%, of LTH plateau response 12%, of PORH peak response 14% and of PORH area under the curve response 11%. FMD correlated weakly with the PORH peak and area under the curve response (r = 0.39 and 0.43, p < .05), whereas the LTH-plateau response correlated with the PORH peak response (r = 0.68, p < .01) in non-smokers, but FMD and LTH peak or plateau responses were unrelated. In conclusion, the LTH plateau response is for two-third NO-dependent, but unrelated to FMD. Furthermore, despite easy to perform the LTH responses are not more reproducible than FMD. Given the weak associations, the different methods of vascular function assessment are not interchangeable.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)50-56
Number of pages7
JournalMicrovascular Research
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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  • EMC COEUR-09-39-02

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