In order to bring you the best possible user experience, this site uses Javascript. If you are seeing this message, it is likely that the Javascript option in your browser is disabled. For optimal viewing of this site, please ensure that Javascript is enabled for your browser.
Did you know that your browser is out of date? To get the best experience using our website we recommend that you upgrade to a newer version. Learn more.

We use cookies to optimise the design of this website and make continuous improvement. By continuing your visit, you consent to the use of cookies. Learn more

Methods for evaluating endothelial function

a position statement from the ESC Working Group on Peripheral Circulation

Peripheral Arterial Diseases
First published online: March 11, 2011

Access free online article

European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention & Rehabilitation
0(00) 1–15! The European Society of Cardiology 2011
DOI: 10.1177/1741826711398179

J Lekakis, P Abraham, A Balbarini, A Blann, C M Boulanger, J Cockcroft, F Cosentino, J Deanfield, A Gallino, I Ikonomidis, D Kremastinos, U Landmesser, A Protogerou, C Stefanadis, D Tousoulis, G Vassalli, H Vink, N Werner, I Wilkinson and C Vlachopoulos (corresponsing author)

The endothelium holds a pivotal role in cardiovascular health and disease. Assessment of its function was until recently limited to experimental designs due to its location. The advent of novel techniques has facilitated testing on a more detailed basis, with focus on distinct pathways. This review presents available in-vivo and ex-vivo methods for evaluating
endothelial function with special focus on more recent ones. The diagnostic modalities covered include assessment of epicardial and microvascular coronary endothelial function, local vasodilation by venous occlusion plethysmography and flow-mediated dilatation, arterial pulse wave analysis and pulse amplitude tonometry, microvascular blood flow by laser
Doppler flowmetry, biochemical markers and bioassays, measurement of endothelial-derived microparticles and progenitor cells, and glycocalyx measurements. Insights and practical information on the theoretical basis, methodological aspects, and clinical application in various disease states are discussed. The ability of these methods to detect endothelial dysfunction before overt cardiovascular disease manifests make them attractive clinical tools for prevention and rehabilitation.