Purpose: When assessing brachial endothelial function by reactive hyperaemia, stopping blood flow creates a period of low-flow-mediated constriction (L-FMC). As little is known about how this parameter influences flow-mediated vasodilation (FMD), the purpose of this study was to better understand this relationship and to determine the intra- and interday reproducibility of brachial L-FMC. Methods: Brachial L-FMC and FMD were measured on 26 healthy, young adults (13 males, 13 females; 24·6 ± 2·7 years). Each participant had two assessments conducted on two separate visits, separated by a minimum of seven days. Brachial artery baseline diameter was imaged during rest. Continuous imaging of the artery was performed during the last 20 s of cuff-occlusion to 180 s postcuff release. An L-FMC was considered present if the relative change from pre-occlusion baseline to L-FMC artery diameter was less than −0·1%. Results: Overall, there was a strong, positive correlation between increased brachial L-FMC and blunted FMD (visit 1 test 1: r = 0·758, P<0·001; visit 1 test 2: r = 0·706, P<0·001; visit 2 test 1: r = 0·836, P<0·001; visit 2 test 2: r = 0·857, P<0·001). The reproducibility of intra- and interday L-FMC diameter was intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) = 0·627, coefficient of variation (CV) = 54·4% and ICC = 0·734, CV = 43·5%, respectively. Conclusion: Vasoconstriction to low-flow conditions influences the subsequent maximal dilation during reactive hyperaemia. However, L-FMC is variable as evidenced by the weak intra- and interday reproducibility of the measure. Further research should study brachial L-FMC reproducibility among varying populations and the implications L-FMC has on the interpretation of FMD results.
- endothelial function
- flow-mediated dilation
- low-flow-mediated constriction
- reactive hyperaemia