Heterogeneity in conduit artery function in humans : impact of arterial size

D.H.J. Thijssen, E.A. Dawson, M.A. Black, M.T.E. Hopman, N.T. Cable, Daniel Green

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107 Citations (Scopus)


Thijssen DH, Dawson EA, Black MA, Hopman MT, Cable NT, Green DJ. Heterogeneity in conduit artery function in humans: impact of arterial size. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 295: H1927-H1934, 2008. First published September 5, 2008; doi:10.1152/ajpheart.00405.2008. - To determine whether conduit artery size affects functional responses, we compared the magnitude, time course, and eliciting shear rate stimulus for flow-mediated dilation (FMD) in healthy men (n = 20; 31 +/- 7 yr). Upper limb (brachial and radial) and lower limb (common and superficial femoral) FMD responses were simultaneously assessed, whereas popliteal responses were measured in the same subjects during a separate visit. Glyceryl trinitrate (GTN)-mediated responses were similarly examined. Edge detection and wall tracking of high-resolution B-mode arterial ultrasound images, combined with synchronized Doppler waveform envelope analysis, were used to calculate conduit artery diameter, blood flow, and shear rate continuously across the cardiac cycle. Baseline artery size correlated inversely with the FMD response (r = -0.57, P < 0.001). Within-artery comparisons revealed a significant inverse correlation between artery size and FMD% for the radial (r = -0.66, P = 0.001), brachial (r = -0.55, P = 0.01), and popliteal artery (r = -0.48, P = 0.03), but not for the superficial and common femoral artery. Normalization of FMD responses for differences in eliciting shear rate did not abolish the between-artery relationship for artery function and size (r = -0.48, P < 0.001), suggesting that differences between artery function responses were not entirely due to size-related differences in shear rate. This was reinforced by a significant between-artery correlation for GTN responses and baseline artery size (r = -0.74, P < 0.001). In summary, systematic differences exist in vascular function responses of conduit arteries that differ in size. This raises the possibility that differences in artery size within or between individuals may influence functional responses.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)H1927-H1934
JournalAmerican journal of physiology : heart and circulatory physiology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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