2010 Volume 51 Issue 1 Pages 60-67
The beneficial effects of raloxifene, a selective estrogen receptor modulator, on cardiovascular risks and events have been investigated. Brachial arterial flow-mediated vasodilatation (FMD), carotid intima-media thickness (IMT), and pulse wave velocity (PWV) have been widely used in clinical settings as surrogate markers of atherosclerosis. This study investigated the simultaneous effects of raloxifene on brachial arterial FMD, carotid IMT, and PWV in osteoporotic postmenopausal women. A total of 31 postmenopausal women with osteoporosis or osteopenia were divided into 2 groups: a raloxifene group (n = 15; mean age ± SD, 66.1 ± 8.2 years) was treated with raloxifene hydrochloride (60 mg/day) orally for 12 months, and an untreated control group (n = 16; 64.1 ± 7.8 years). Brachial arterial FMD, carotid IMT, and brachial-ankle PWV (baPWV) were measured at baseline and at 12 months after the start of the study. The brachial arterial FMD increased significantly, from 4.5 ± 1.8% to 9.2 ± 3.0%, in the raloxifene group (P < 0.01) but did not change in the control group. Nitroglycerin-induced vasodilatation did not change in either group. The carotid IMT decreased significantly, from 0.82 ± 0.15 mm to 0.72 ± 0.11 mm, in the raloxifene group (P < 0.01) but did not change in the control group. The baPWV did not change in either group. In conclusion, raloxifene may have beneficial effects on brachial arterial endothelial function and carotid wall thickness in osteoporotic postmenopausal women.