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Rivista di Angiologia
Official Journal of the , the International Union of Phlebology and the
Indexed/Abstracted in: BIOSIS Previews, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
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International Angiology 2003 March;22(1):83-7
Interrelationship between peripheral arterial occlusive disease, carotid atherosclerosis and flow mediated dilation of the brachial artery
Poredos P., Golob M., Jensterle M.
Department of Vascular Disease, University Medical Centre, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Aim. Atherosclerosis is considered a systemic disease. Therefore, in patients with atherosclerotic disease effects on various sections of the arterial system are expected. The aim of our study was to determine whether patients with evident peripheral arterial occlusive disease (PAOD) of the lower limbs have any subclinical functional or structural arterial wall changes in other sections of the arterial system.
Methods. The study included 54 patients with PAOD, Fontaine stage II and a claudication distance from 50 to 500 m (average 250±170 m). Their mean age was 64. None of them had any symptoms or signs of coronary or cerebrovascular atherosclerosis (CVD). The control group consisted of 50 healthy volunteers with a mean age of 64 years without any risk factors of atherosclerosis. In all subjects the carotid intima-media thickness (IMT), was measured, the presence of atherosclerotic plaques in the carotid artery (CA) was registered and the endothelium-dependent dilation capability of the brachial artery (BA) during reactive hyperemia was measured using the B-mode ultrasound technique.
Results. The average IMT was significantly greater in PAOD patients than in controls (0.8±0.2 mm vs 0.6±0.1 mm, p<0.001). In patients atherosclerotic plaques in the CA were also more numerous than in controls (38 vs 4, p<0.001). The IMT of patients was related to body mass index (BMI), ankle-brachial pressure index (ABI), LDL cholesterol and to the number of atherosclerotic plaques. In PAOD patients flow-mediated dilation of the BA was significantly lower than in controls (7.2±4.9% vs 12.3±2.1%, p<0.001). The dilation capability of the BA was linearly related to the BMI, ABI and IMT.
Conclusion. The results of our study show that PAOD patients without clinical evidence of CVD have morphological changes of the CA, increased IMT and numerous atherosclerotic plaques. Furthermore, in PAOD patients flow-mediated endothelium-dependent dilation of the peripheral arteries is decreased. These results support the hypothesis that atherosclerosis is a generalized disease, leading to functional and structural changes in several segments of the arterial system.