Special article: non-invasive measurement of endothelial function

Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol. 1998 Jul-Aug;25(7-8):640-3. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1681.1998.tb02269.x.


1. Endothelial dysfunction, due to reductions in nitric oxide (NO) action, is an early feature of macrovascular disease. 2. Non-invasive measurement of endothelial function may be assessed by postischaemic dilation of forearm vessels, using plethysmography, or flow-mediated dilatation of the brachial artery, using ultrasound. 3. Brachial flow-mediated dilatation reflects NO release and/or action more than forearm hyperaemia. 4. These techniques have been used as surrogate measures of coronary endothelial function. 5. Methodological, physiological and clinical aspects of the techniques are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Endothelium, Vascular / diagnostic imaging
  • Endothelium, Vascular / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Nitric Oxide / physiology*
  • Ultrasonography
  • Vascular Diseases / diagnosis
  • Vascular Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Vascular Diseases / physiopathology*


  • Nitric Oxide