Deep Vascular Phenotyping in Patients With Renal Multifocal Fibromuscular Dysplasia

Hypertension. 2019 Feb;73(2):371-378. doi: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.118.12189.


Arterial fibromuscular dysplasia is a nonatherosclerotic, noninflammatory vascular disease, whose pathophysiology is still unknown. We performed deep image-based vascular phenotyping of nonaffected arteries to look for systemic vascular alterations in fibromuscular dysplasia. This single center cross-sectional study included 50 patients with multifocal renal fibromuscular dysplasia, 50 hypertensive patients, and 50 healthy controls, matched for age, sex, and ethnicity; hypertensive patients were matched also for blood pressure. Brachial artery endothelium-dependent and endothelium-independent dilation were studied by echotracking. Aortic stiffness was assessed by carotid-to-femoral pulse wave velocity. We quantified the presence of supernumerary acoustic interfaces within the common carotid wall by the triple signal (TS) score. We plotted the Young incremental elastic modulus/stress curves for common carotid artery, derived from echotracking and tonometry. Patients with fibromuscular dysplasia had impaired endothelium-independent dilation (adjusted P=0.002), smaller brachial artery diameter but comparable endothelium-dependent dilation and aortic stiffness. The prevalence of TS score >6 was 56%, 40%, 24% in patients with fibromuscular dysplasia, hypertensives, and controls, respectively ( P=0.005). Fibromuscular dysplasia remained significantly associated with TS in the multiple regression model ( P=0.022). Impaired endothelium-dependent dilation was present only in patients with fibromuscular dysplasia, TS score >6 ( P=0.047). Incremental elastic modulus was higher for a given wall stress (80 kPa) in the presence of a TS score >6, especially in fibromuscular dysplasia. In conclusion, nonclinically affected large- and medium-sized arteries in patients with multifocal renal fibromuscular dysplasia exhibit a cluster of diffuse alterations in smooth muscle cell function, arterial geometry, wall characteristics, and mechanical properties. Clinical Trial Registration URL: . Unique identifier: NCT01935752.

Keywords: brachial artery; endothelium; fibromuscular dysplasia; hypertension; vascular smooth muscle function; vascular stiffness.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Brachial Artery / physiopathology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Endothelium, Vascular / physiology
  • Female
  • Fibromuscular Dysplasia / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / physiopathology
  • Kidney / blood supply*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocytes, Smooth Muscle / physiology
  • Phenotype
  • Vascular Stiffness

Associated data