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Impact of retrograde shear rate on brachial and superficial femoral artery flow-mediated dilation in older subjects

  • Tim H.A. Schreuder
    Affiliations
    Radboud Institute for Health Sciences, Radboud University Medical Center, The Netherlands
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  • Daniel J. Green
    Affiliations
    Research Institute for Sport and Exercise Sciences, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, United Kingdom

    School of Sport Science, Exercise and Health, The University of Western Australia, Crawley, Western Australia, Australia
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  • Maria T.E. Hopman
    Affiliations
    Radboud Institute for Health Sciences, Radboud University Medical Center, The Netherlands
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  • Dick H.J. Thijssen
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author. Research Institute for Sport and Exercise Sciences, Liverpool John Moores University, United Kingdom.
    Affiliations
    Radboud Institute for Health Sciences, Radboud University Medical Center, The Netherlands

    Research Institute for Sport and Exercise Sciences, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, United Kingdom
    Search for articles by this author

      Abstract

      An inverse, dose-dependent relationship between retrograde shear rate and brachial artery endothelial function exists in young subjects. This relationship has not been investigated in older adults, who have been related to lower endothelial function, higher resting retrograde shear rate and higher risk of cardiovascular disease.

      Aim

      To investigate the impact of a step-wise increase in retrograde shear stress on flow-mediated dilation in older males in the upper and lower limbs.

      Methods

      Fifteen older (68 ± 9 years) men reported to the laboratory 3 times. We examined brachial artery flow-mediated dilation before and after 30-min exposure to cuff inflation around the forearm at 0, 30 and 60 mmHg, to manipulate retrograde shear rate. Subsequently, the 30-min intervention was repeated in the superficial femoral artery. Order of testing (vessel and intervention) was randomised.

      Results

      Increases in cuff pressure resulted in dose-dependent increases in retrograde shear in both the brachial and superficial femoral artery in older subjects. In both the brachial and the superficial femoral artery, no change in endothelial function in response to increased retrograde shear was observed in older males (‘time’ P = 0.274, ‘cuff*time P = 0.791’, ‘cuff*artery*time P = 0.774’).

      Conclusion

      In contrast with young subjects, we found that acute elevation in retrograde shear rate does not impair endothelial function in older humans. This may suggest that subjects with a priori endothelial dysfunction are less responsive or requires a larger shear rate stimulus to alter endothelial function.

      Keywords

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      Linked Article

      • Flow-mediated dilation: An evolving method
        AtherosclerosisVol. 241Issue 1
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          Endothelial dysfunction embodies roles of precursor and perpetuator of systemic atherosclerotic disease. Identifying and quantifying its impact would therefore provide insight on the genesis of atherosclerosis initiation and progression. However, endothelial dysfunction comprises a broad spectrum of impaired functions—ranging from vascular tone regulation to plaque stabilizing properties—and available clinical methods effectively estimate only singular aspects of the underlying condition. Functionally, vasomotor regulation reflects endothelial function and its regulation occurs at the macrovascular [1] and microvascular [2] levels.
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