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A rapid and reproducible on line automated technique to determine endothelial function
  1. J S Sidhu1,
  2. V R Newey2,
  3. D K Nassiri2,
  4. J-C Kaski1
  1. 1Department of Cardiological Sciences, St George’s Hospital Medical School, London, UK
  2. 2Department of Medical Physics, St George’s Hospital Medical School
  1. Correspondence to:
    Professor J-C Kaski, Coronary Artery Disease Research Unit, Cardiological Sciences, St George’s Hospital Medical School, Cranmer Terrace, London SW17 ORE, UK;


Objective: To evaluate clinically a new on line, automated technique to measure flow mediated dilatation (FMD) as a marker of endothelial function.

Design: Prospective study.

Patients: 12 healthy volunteers and 12 patients with significant, angiographically documented coronary artery disease.

Interventions: Brachial arteries were imaged using a standard vascular ultrasound system with a 5–12 MHz linear transducer. Arterial diameter was measured on line (in real time) by connecting the ultrasound system to a personal computer equipped with a frame grabber and artery wall detection software (VIA) specially developed by the authors’ group. By using this new technique, FMD was measured following 4.5 minutes of ischaemia of the proximal forearm in all subjects on two separate days.

Results: The mean (SD) day to day variability in FMD measurements was 0.90 (0.48)%,which compares very favourably with current methods. The FMD measurement was available within seconds of completing the scan.

Conclusions: Personal computer based automated techniques to assess FMD involve image acquisition and recording after which a second (off line) image interpretation session is required. The need for off line analysis makes current methods time consuming and increases the variability of measurement. This on line, automated analysis technique for FMD assessment reduces the variability and greatly increases the speed of measurement. Using this system may mean that fewer patients will be required in clinical trials assessing the effects of interventions on endothelial function. Adopting this method may also facilitate the screening of larger numbers of subjects for endothelial dysfunction.

  • endothelial function
  • brachial artery ultrasound
  • flow mediated dilatation

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