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International Journal of Vascular Medicine
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 2969740, 6 pages
Research Article

A Comparison of Measures of Endothelial Function in Patients with Peripheral Arterial Disease and Age and Gender Matched Controls

1Department of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, Flinders University, Bedford Park, SA 5042, Australia
2Department of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, Flinders Medical Centre, Bedford Park, SA 5042, Australia

Received 9 October 2015; Revised 31 December 2015; Accepted 3 January 2016

Academic Editor: Mark Morasch

Copyright © 2016 Richard B. Allan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This study compared flow-mediated dilatation (FMD), peripheral artery tonometry (PAT), and serum nitric oxide (NO) measures of endothelial function in patients with peripheral artery disease (PAD) against age/gender matched controls. 25 patients (mean age: 72.4 years, M : F 18 : 7) with established PAD and an age/gender matched group of 25 healthy controls (mean age: 72.4 years, M : F 18 : 7) were studied. Endothelial function was measured using the % FMD, reactive hyperemia index (RHI) using PAT and serum NO (μmol). Difference for each method between PAD and control patients and correlation between the methods were investigated. FMD and RHI were lower in patients with PAD (median FMD for PAD = 2.16% versus control = 3.77%, and median RHI in PAD = 1.64 versus control = 1.92, ). NO levels were not significantly different between the groups (PAD median = 7.70 μmol, control median = 13.05 μmol, ). These results were obtained in elderly patients and cannot be extrapolated to younger individuals. FMD and PAT both demonstrated a lower hyperaemic response in patients with PAD; however, FMD results in PAD patients were unequivocally reduced whereas half the PAD patients had RHI values above the established threshold for endothelial dysfunction. This suggests that FMD is a more appropriate method for the measurement of NO-mediated endothelial function.