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Endocrine. 2007 Jun;31(3):300-4.

Impairment of flow-mediated vasodilatation of brachial artery in patients with Cushing's Syndrome.

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Department of Cardiology, KTU Faculty of Medicine, Trabzon, Turkey.



Cushing's Syndrome (CS) is associated with excess and premature cardiovascular disease. Endothelial dysfunction is the initiating event in the development of atherosclerosis. Endothelial function is assessed by flow-mediated dilatation (FMD) of brachial artery. The aim of this study was to assess FMD in patients with CS.


We prospectively evaluated 22 patients with CS (12 women, 10 men; aged 42 +/- 11 years, serum cortisol 28.2 +/- 14 microg/dl, 24-h urinary free cortisol (UFC) 269 +/- 92 microg/day), and 23 control subjects (13 women, 10 men; aged 43 +/- 10 years, serum cortisol 14 +/- 4 microg/dl, 24 h cortisol 60 +/- 22 microg/day). Endothelial function, measured as FMD of the brachial artery using ultrasound, was calculated in two groups. Endothelial function was evaluated by assessing 1-min postischemic FMD of the brachial artery.


FMD was lower in patients with CS than that in those without (11.7 +/- 4.8% vs. 15.8 +/- 3.2%, P = 0.0001, respectively). There was no significant difference between two groups regarding baseline diameter of brachial artery. But, hyperemia diameter was lower in patients with CS than without CS (3.6 +/- 0.22 mm vs. 3.9 +/- 0.19 mm, P = 0.04, respectively).


Endothelium-dependent FMD may impair in patients with CS compared to controls. Measurement of endothelial function may identify high-risk individuals early and therapy to reduce or retard endothelial dysfunction in patients with CS may lead to decreased cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.

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