Nitroglycerin-mediated vasodilatation of the brachial artery may predict long-term cardiovascular events irrespective of the presence of atherosclerotic disease

Daijirou Akamatsu, Akira Sato, Hitoshi Goto, Tetsuo Watanabe, Munetaka Hashimoto, Takuya Shimizu, Hirofumi Sugawara, Hiroko Sato, Yoshiyuki Nakano, Teiji Miura, Tsutomu Zukeran, Fukashi Serizawa, Yow Hamada, Ken Tsuchida, Ichiro Tsuji, Susumu Satomi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: Nitroglycerin-mediated vasodilatation (NMD) provides insight into the NTG-induced bioac-tivity of smooth muscle. It is plausible that in dysfunctional smooth muscle cells, the response to ni-troglycerin may become blunted. The relationship between impaired brachial artery NMD and subsequent cardiovascular events is not well established. Methods: We examined brachial artery flow-mediated dilatation (FMD) and NMD using ultrasound in 93 subjects (71 ± 7 years, including 26 with peripheral artery disease (PAD), 37 with aortic aneu-rysms, 10 with PAD complicated with aneurysms, and 20 without evident arterial disease). Brachial artery responses to hyperemia and nitroglycerin were measured every minute after cuff deflation and nitroglycerin administration. Time courses of vasodilatation were assessed and maximal FMD and NMD were measured. Results: The time courses in response to NTG were sigmoidal and maximal diameter reached 7.2 ±1.6 minutes after NTG was administered sublingually The mean FMD was 2.3±2.0% and the mean NMD was 17.6±7.1%. Subjects were prospectively followed for an average of 47± 13 months. Eighteen subjects had an event during follow-up; events included myocardial infarction (five), unstable angina pectoris (four), stroke (two), aortic dissection (one), ruptured aortic aneurysm (three), symptomatic abdominal aortic aneurysm (two), and lower limb ischemia requiring revascularization (one). NMD and FMD were significantly lower in subjects with events than in those without an event. In a Cox proportional-hazards model, lower FMD as well as lower NMD independently predicted future cardiovascular events. Conclusion: Brachial artery nitroglycerin-mediated vasodilatation may add information to conventional risk stratification.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1266-1274
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of atherosclerosis and thrombosis
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • Endothelial dysfunction
  • Flow-mediated vasodilatation
  • Nitroglycerin-mediated vasodilatation
  • Smooth muscle dysfunction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Biochemistry, medical


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