Assessment of Post-Occlusive Reactive Hyperaemia in the Evaluation of Endothelial Function in Patients with Lower Extremity Artery Disease

DOI: 10.1515/amma-2017-0024

Background: The aim was to assess endothelial function with photoplethysmography (PPG), by post-occlusive reactive hyperaemia (PORH) combined with alprostadil challenge test in patients with peripheral artery disease (PAD).
Methods: Forty-nine PAD patients stage II-III Fontaine (39 male, 10 female, mean age 68.45±5.86 years) and a control group of 49 healthy individuals (24 male, 25 female; mean age 25.1±3.8 for a young subgroup; 71.0±0.16 years for an elderly subgroup) were included. Ankle-brachial index (ABI) was assessed at baseline, peripheral perfusion (PP) and PORH were assessed at baseline and after the 30 minutes administration of parenteral alprostadil.
Results: After 3 minutes of arterial occlusion, peripheral perfusion increased from 0.69±0.94 mV/V to 2.27±2.42 mV/V (p<0.0001). After alprostadil challenge, peripheral perfusion increased from 0.84±1.24 mV/V to 4.52±3.52 mV/V (p<0.0001). In controls PP was 2.4±1.7 mV/V versus 3.8±1.5 mV/V, p<0.0001.
Conclusion: In patients with PAD, an increase in PORH after alprostadil challenge due to the release of nitric oxide (NO), provides information on the endothelial function and could reflect the presence of collaterals. In the healthy control group, the increase in PORH could reflect the integrity of main arterial branch. In PAD patients with an increase in PORH, conservative therapy should be preferred over surgical revascularisation.

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