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Guidelines for Endothelial Testing

BP-lowering with currently available drugs cannot restore endothelial function

Hypertens Res 2022 May 20
Cardiovascular risk in patients receiving antihypertensive drug treatment from the perspective of endothelial function
Tatsuya Maruhashi 1, Yukihito Higashi 2 3

Blood-pressure-lowering therapy with antihypertensive drugs can reduce the risk of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in patients with hypertension. However, patients treated with antihypertensive drugs generally have a worse prognosis than untreated individuals. Consistent with the results obtained from epidemiological studies, a clinical study showed that endothelial function was impaired more in treated patients with hypertension than in untreated individuals with the same blood pressure level, suggesting that blood-pressure-lowering therapy with currently available antihypertensive drugs cannot restore endothelial function to the level of that in untreated individuals. Several mechanisms of endothelial dysfunction in treated patients are postulated: irreversible damage to the endothelium caused by higher cumulative elevated blood pressure exposure over time; the persistence of the primary causes of hypertension even after the initiation of antihypertensive drug treatment, including an activated renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system, oxidative stress, and inflammation; and higher global cardiovascular risk related not only to conventional cardiovascular risk factors but also to undetectable nonconventional risk factors. Lifestyle modifications/nonpharmacological interventions should be strongly recommended for both untreated and treated individuals with hypertension. Lifestyle modifications/nonpharmacological interventions may directly correct the primary causes of hypertension, which can improve endothelial function and consequently reduce cardiovascular risk regardless of the use or nonuse of antihypertensive drugs.
Keywords: Antihypertensive drug treatment; Cardiovascular risk; Endothelium-dependent vasodilation; Flow-mediated vasodilation; Hypertension.
© 2022. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to The Japanese Society of Hypertension.

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Research Article | Open Access Volume 2022 |Article ID 4224975 |
High Frequency of Microvascular Dysfunction in US Outpatient Clinics: A Sign of High Residual Risk? Data from 7,105 Patients
Morteza Naghavi,1,2 Stanley Kleis,3 Hirofumi Tanaka,4 Albert A. Yen,5 Ruoyu Zhuang,3 Ahmed Gul,3 Yasamin Naghavi,3 and Ralph Metcalfe3

Previous studies have linked peripheral microvascular dysfunction measured by arterial tonometry to high residual risk in on-statin patients. Digital thermal monitoring (DTM) of microvascular function is a new and simplified technique based on fingertip temperature measurements that has been correlated with the burden of atherosclerosis and its risk factors. Here, we report analyses of DTM data from two large US registries: Registry-I (6,084 cases) and Registry-II (1,021 cases) across 49 US outpatient clinics. DTM tests were performed using a VENDYS device during a 5-minute arm-cuff reactive hyperemia. Fingertip temperature falls during cuff inflation and rebounds after deflation. Adjusted maximum temperature rebound was reported as vascular reactivity index (VRI). VRI distributions were similar in both registries, with of in Registry-I and in Registry-II. In the combined dataset, only 18% had optimal VRI (≥2.0) and 82% were either poor (<1.0) or intermediate (1.0-2.0). Women had slightly higher VRI than men ( 1.62±56 vs. 1.54±47, P<0.001). VRI was inversely but mildly correlated with age (r= -.19, P<0.001). Suboptimal VRI was found in 72% of patients <50 years, 82% of 50-70 years, and 86% of ≥70 years. Blood pressure was not correlated with VRI. Conclusion: In this largest registry of peripheral microvascular function measurements, suboptimal scores were highly frequent among on-treatment patients, possibly suggesting a significant residual risk. Prospective studies are warranted to validate microvascular dysfunction as an indicator of residual risk. View Full-Text Scientific Updates Sponsored by Endothelix Inc. View Archive