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Clin Chem Lab Med. 2005;43(10):1124-9.

Elevated levels of asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA) as a marker of cardiovascular disease and mortality.

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Clinical Pharmacology Unit, Institute of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology, University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany.


The endothelium plays a crucial role in the maintenance of vascular tone and structure by releasing the endothelium-derived vasoactive mediator, nitric oxide (NO). NO is formed in healthy vascular endothelium from the amino acid precursor L-arginine. Endothelial dysfunction is caused by various cardiovascular risk factors, metabolic diseases, and systemic or local inflammation. One mechanism that explains the occurrence of endothelial dysfunction is the presence of elevated blood levels of asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA) - an L-arginine analogue that inhibits NO formation and thereby can impair vascular function. Accumulating evidence from prospective clinical studies suggests that elevated plasma or serum levels of ADMA are associated with an increased risk of major adverse cardiovascular events. This article gives an updated overview of the currently available literature on ADMA and cardiovascular disease from prospective clinical trials. Recently, advances have been made in the development of analytical methods that are reliable and fast enough to allow determination of ADMA in clinical routine.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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