Impact of proximal and distal cuff inflation on brachial artery endothelial function in healthy individuals

Ellen A. Dawson, Maxime Boidin, Ruth Thompson, Nigel T. Cable, Dick H.J. Thijssen, Daniel J. Green

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: In this study, we examined whether the decrease in endothelial function associated with short-term exposure to elevated retrograde shear rate (SR), could be prevented when combined with a concurrent drop in transmural pressure in humans. Methods: Twenty-five healthy individuals reported to our laboratory on three occasions to complete 30-min experimental conditions, preceded and followed by assessment of endothelial function using flow-mediated dilation (FMD). We used cuff inflation for 30-min to manipulate retrograde SR and transmural pressure in the brachial artery. Subjects underwent, in randomised order: (1) forearm cuff inflation to 60 mmHg (distal cuff; causing increase in retrograde SR), (2) upper arm cuff inflation to 60 mmHg (proximal cuff; causing increase in retrograde SR + decrease in transmural pressure), and (3) no cuff inflation (Control). Results: The distal and proximal cuff conditions both increased brachial artery retrograde SR (p < 0.001) and oscillatory shear index (p < 0.001). The Control intervention did not alter SR patterns or FMD (p > 0.05). A significant interaction-effect was found for FMD (p < 0.05), with the decrease during distal cuff (from 6.9 ± 2.3% to 6.1 ± 2.5%), being reversed to an increase with proximal cuff (from 6.3 ± 2.0 to 6.9 ± 2.0%). The proximal cuff-related increase in FMD could not be explained by the decrease in antegrade or increase in retrograde shear. Conclusion: This study suggests that a decrease in transmural pressure may ameliorate the decline in endothelial function that occurs following exposure to elevated retrograde shear in healthy individuals.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Physiology
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Jan 2021

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