Validation of a new method for non-invasive assessment of vasomotor function

Elizabeth A Ellins, Karl J New, Dev B N Datta, Suzanne Watkins, Kate Haralambos, Alan Rees, D Aled Rees, Julian P J Halcox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Reactive hyperaemia induces a slowing of pulse wave velocity (PWV) in conduit arteries of healthy subjects (flow-mediated slowing (FMS)). This could be an alternative method for assessing peripheral vasomotor function to the gold standard method of flow-mediated dilatation (FMD) a more expensive and technically demanding technique. We aimed to assess the reproducibility of FMS in healthy participants and to test its ability to detect differences in vasomotor function in patients with familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH) and post-lipoprotein apheresis (LA) treatment.

METHODS: Altogether 25 healthy participants were studied on two occasions to assess reproducibility of FMS. In a case control study of 22 patients with FH and matched healthy controls, FMD and FMS were compared. An intervention study in 12 patients with FH looked at the impact of a single LA treatment on FMS assessed pre and post treatment.

RESULTS: FMS demonstrated good reproducibility (coefficient of variation (CoV) 7.3%). Patients with FH had reduced FMS in comparison to matched healthy controls (FMS% FH -15.13 ± 5.04% vs controls -18.41 ± 5.15%, p = 0.023), with no difference in FMD% between the two groups. A single LA treatment significantly improved FMS (pre -18.81 ± 9.84 vs post -24.09 ± 7.61%, p = 0.016).

CONCLUSIONS: FMS is a reproducible technique, which is able to detect differences in vasomotor function both in a condition associated with endothelial dysfunction and following an acute intervention known to improve endothelial function. This simple technique has potential for accessible assessment of vasomotor function in clinical studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)577-83
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean journal of preventive cardiology
Issue number6
Early online date24 Jul 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2016


  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biomarkers
  • Blood Component Removal
  • Blood Flow Velocity
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperemia
  • Hyperlipoproteinemia Type II
  • Lipids
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Pulse Wave Analysis
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vasodilation
  • Vasomotor System
  • Young Adult
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Studies


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