The prognostic value of systemic endothelial dysfunction still remains uncertain in ischemic heart disease. The aim of the study was to establish the prognostic value of ultrasonically assessed systemic endothelial dysfunction in patients with chest pain syndrome and to assess whether this information was incremental to that already provided by simple parameters derived from echocardiography, such as left ventricular mass index or ejection fraction. One hundred ninety-five in-hospital patients (age = 60 ± 10 years; 63 females) with known or suspected CAD have been enrolled. All of the patients underwent, on different days, coronary angiography, endothelium-dependent FMD testing of the brachial artery by high-resolution ultrasound and resting 2D-echocardiography evaluation. The result of the FMD has been defined as the percent change in the internal diameter of the brachial artery during reactive hyperemia related to baseline. All patients were followed-up for a median of 27 months. During follow-up there were 17 deaths (9 cardiac), 4 non-fatal myocardial infarction (MI), and 18 late clinically-driven revascularization procedures. By a multivariate analysis, echocardiographically assessed ejection fraction (odds ratio: 2.32; 95% confidence interval: 1.24-4.33; p = 0.008) and angiographically assessed CAD (odds ratio: 2.82; 95% confidence interval: 1.40-5.67; p = 0.003), were independent prognostic predictors of events. In patients with known or suspected CAD, systemic endothelial dysfunction did not show a significant prognostic value. Echocardiographic indices of structural left ventricular damage appear to have a stronger prognostic value than functional indices of peripheral vascular damage in risk stratifying ischemic patients.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine