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Delayed flow-mediated vasodilation and critical coronary stenosis
  1. Concetta Irace1,
  2. Salvatore De Rosa2,
  3. Cesare Tripolino3,
  4. Giuseppe Ambrosio4,
  5. Caterina Covello2,
  6. Ennio Abramo4,
  7. Claudio Carallo4,
  8. Annalisa Mongiardo4,
  9. Carmen Spaccarotella4,
  10. Daniele Torella2,
  11. Agostino Gnasso3,
  12. Ciro Indolfi2
    1. 1 Department of Health Science, Magna Graecia University, Catanzaro, Italy
    2. 2 Division of Cardiology, Department of Medical and Surgical Science, Magna Graecia University, Catanzaro, Italy
    3. 3 Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Magna Graecia University, Catanzaro, Italy
    4. 4 Azienda Ospedaliero-universitaria Mater Domini, Catanzaro, Italy
    1. Correspondence to Prof Concetta Irace, Department of Health Science, Magna Graecia University, Catanzaro 88100, Italy; irace{at}


    Endothelial dysfunction, wall thickening and plaque are progressive manifestations of atherosclerosis. Delayed or absent brachial artery dilation after ischemic stimulus has been associated with severity of extracoronary and coronary atherosclerosis. In the current study, we aimed to verify if delayed or absent dilation associates with critical coronary stenosis. We also evaluated the association between coronary stenosis, carotid artery wall thickness and peripheral artery disease. Endothelial function was investigated by flow-mediated dilation of the brachial artery up to 3 min after ischemia, and patients classified as early, late or no dilators. Coronary angiography was performed through transradial or femoral artery approach. Computerized quantitative angiography was used to obtain percent stenosis of all lesions, while the Gensini score was used to evaluate the severity of coronary atherosclerosis. Seventy-four patients were enrolled. Carotid wall thickness and plaque, and peripheral artery disease were detected by ultrasound. Subjects with critical coronary stenosis showed a higher prevalence of delayed or absent dilation (coronary stenosis ≥70 per cent: late dilators 50 per cent, no dilators 35 per cent; coronary stenosis ≤70 per cent : late dilators 27 per cent, no dilators 6 per cent). The Gensini score was progressively higher in late dilators and no dilators compared with early dilators (early: 4.5±13.5; late 17.5±27.1; no 39.7±55.0; P<0.02). Carotid atherosclerosis and peripheral artery disease were more prevalent in subjects with critical coronary stenosis. Delayed or absent dilation associates with coronary stenosis and different degree of coronary atherosclerosis. The kinetic of arterial dilation seems to be relevant as the magnitude of dilation.

    • flow mediated dilation
    • brachial artery
    • coronary angiography
    • coronary stenosis

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    • CI and SDR contributed equally.

    • Contributors CI and SDR planned the research, designed the study and written the paper. CI and CT performed the ultrasound studies. CT and CC collected and analyzed data. CC and EA selected patients and were responsible for IC. DT, GA, AM and CS performed coronary angiography. AG and CI were study supervisors and edited the manuscript.

    • Competing interests None declared.

    • Patient consent Obtained.

    • Ethics approval The study protocol was approved by local ethical committee and conducted in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki.

    • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

    • Collaborators Salvatore De Rosa,Cesare Tripolino,Giuseppe Ambrosio, Caterina Covello, Ennio Abramo, Claudio Carallo, Annalisa Mongiardo, Carmen Spaccarotella, Daniele Torella, Agostino Gnasso, Ciro Indolfi.

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