Does arterial shear explain the magnitude of flow-mediated dilation? : a comparison between young and older humans

D.H.J. Thijssen, L.M. Bullens, M.M. Van Bemmel, E.A. Dawson, N. Hopkins, T.M. Tinken, M.A. Black, M.T.E. Hopman, N.T. Cable, Daniel Green

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    90 Citations (Scopus)


    Flow-mediated dilatation (FMD) has become a commonly applied approach for the assessment of vascular function and health in humans. Recent studies emphasize the importance of normalizing the magnitude of FMD to its apparent eliciting stimulus, the postdeflation arterial shear. However, the relationship between shear stress and the magnitude of FMD may differ between groups. The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between the brachial FMD and four different indexes of postdeflation shear rate (SR) in healthy children (n = 51, 10 ± 1 yr) and young (n = 57, 27 ± 6 yr) and older (n = 27, 58 ± 4 yr) adults. SR was calculated from deflation (time 0) until 9 s (peak), 30 s (0–30), 60 s (0–60), or until the time-to-peak diameter in each individual (0-ttp). Edge detection and wall tracking of high resolution B-mode arterial ultrasound images were used to calculate the conduit artery diameter. In young adults, the brachial artery FMD demonstrated a significant correlation with the area under the SR curve (SRAUC) 0–30 s (r2 = 0.12, P = 0.009), 0–60 s (r2 = 0.14, P = 0.005), and 0-ttp (r2 = 0.14, P = 0.005) but not for the peak SRAUC 0–9 s (r2 = 0.04, P = 0.12). In children and older adults, the magnitude of the brachial artery FMD did not correlate with any of the four SRAUC stimuli. These findings suggest that in young subjects, postdeflation SRAUC correlates moderately with the magnitude of the FMD response. However, the relationship between FMD and postdeflation shear appears to be age dependent, with less evidence for an association in younger and older subjects. Therefore, we support presenting SRAUC stimuli but not normalizing FMD responses for the SRAUC when using this technique.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)H57-H64
    JournalAmerican journal of physiology : heart and circulatory physiology
    Publication statusPublished - 2009


    Dive into the research topics of 'Does arterial shear explain the magnitude of flow-mediated dilation? : a comparison between young and older humans'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this