Macro- and Microvascular Function in Middle-Aged Individuals with Low Cardiovascular Disease Risk

Sunni Patel, Hala Shokr, Adam Greenstein, Doina Gherghel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aims: To investigate the microvascular function in apparently healthy individuals showing signs of early macrovascular endothelial dysfunction. Methods: Healthy participants aged between 30–55 years were recruited for the present study. Baseline measurements included body-mass index (BMI), waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), 24-h blood pressure, as well as fasted venous glucose, triglycerides (TG) and cholesterol (HDL, LDL and total). Brachial artery reactivity was measured using the flow-mediated dilation (FMD) technique and retinal vessel reactivity was assessed by using the Dynamic Retinal Vessel Analyser (DVA) in all individuals. The enrolled participants were separated in two groups, based on either a reduced (group 1: <5%—n = 53) or a normal FMD response (group 2: 7–10%—n = 47). Results: Individuals exhibiting reduced FMD responses showed a reduced baseline-corrected microvascular arterial dilation response to flickering light (p = 0.039). In addition, they also exhibited a reduced arteriolar maximum dilation (p = 0.034), as well as a longer dilation reaction time (p = 0.048) and a lower dilation amplitude (p = 0.042) when compared to those with normal FMD values. Conclusion: In otherwise healthy middle-aged individuals, early signs of vascular dysfunction are reflected simultaneously at both macro- and microvascular levels.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6962
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 25 Nov 2022


  • flow-mediated dilation
  • microvascular function
  • retina
  • vascular endothelial


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