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Endothelial function: 20 years of clinical investigation
  1. P Vallance
  1. Correspondence to:
    Professor Patrick Vallance
    BHF Laboratories, Division of Medicine, University College London, London W1P 9LN, UK;

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In 1980 Furchgott and Zawadzki described the phenomenon of endothelium dependent relaxation1 and identified a novel labile relaxant factor later identified as nitric oxide. A few years earlier John Vane and colleagues2 had identified prostacyclin as a potent antiplatelet agent released from endothelial cells. Together these findings stimulated a huge increase in clinical research in vascular mechanisms and endothelial function. Twenty years on it is time to take …

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