Aim: Both vascular function and structure are independent predictors of cardiovascular events. The purpose of this study was to evaluate vascular function and structure of a leg artery in patients with peripheral artery disease (PAD).
Methods: We measured flow-mediated vasodilatation (FMD) and nitroglycerine-induced vasodilation (NID) as indices of vascular function and intima-media thickness (IMT) as an index of vascular structure of the popliteal artery in 100 subjects, including 20 patients with Buerger disease and 30 patients with atherosclerotic PAD, 20 age- and sex-matched subjects without Buerger disease (control group) and 30 age- and sex-matched patients without atherosclerotic PAD (control group).
Results: IMT was significantly larger in the Buerger group than in the control group (Buerger, 0.63± 0.20 mm; control, 0.50±0.07 mm; P=0.01), whereas there were no significant differences in FMD and NID between the two groups. IMT was significantly larger in the atherosclerotic PAD group than in the control group (atherosclerotic PAD, 0.80±0.22 mm; control, 0.65±0.14 mm; P＜0.01), and FMD and NID were significantly smaller in the atherosclerotic PAD group than in the control group (FMD: atherosclerotic PAD, 3.9%±1.1%; control, 5.0%±1.8%; P＜0.01; and NID: atherosclerotic PAD, 6.1%±2.0%; control, 8.4%±2.1%; P＜0.01).
Conclusion: These findings suggest that vascular function is preserved in patients with Buerger disease and that both vascular function and vascular structure are impaired in patients with atherosclerotic PAD.