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Cardiovasc J Afr. 2013 Aug;24(7):255-9. doi: 10.5830/CVJA-2013-046.

Does vitamin C or its combination with vitamin E improve radial artery endothelium-dependent vasodilatation in patients awaiting coronary artery bypass surgery?

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Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, Ankara Education and Research Hospital, Ankara, Turkey.



We evaluated the vasodilatory effects of two antioxidants, vitamins C (ascorbic acid) and E (α-tocopherol), on radial artery and endothelium-dependent responses in patients awaiting coronary artery bypass surgery.


The study was performed in three groups. The first group took 2 g of vitamin C orally (n = 31, vitamin C group), the second group took 2 g of vitamin C with 600 mg of vitamin E orally (n = 31, vitamins C + E group), and the third group took no medication (n = 31, control group). After baseline measurements were taken of the radial artery lumen diameter, flow volume and lumen area in the non-dominant radial artery, occlusion was maintained for five minutes with a pressure cuff placed around the arm. The measurements were taken again at the time of deflating the cuff, and 60 seconds later. The measurements were repeated after medication in two of the groups and after placebo in the third group.


We compared values of the vitamin C group with those of the vitamins C + E group, and found that the latter were higher than those of the vitamin C group but not statistically significant. In the control group, there was no statistical difference.


Vitamin C or its combination with vitamin E significantly enhanced endothelium-dependent vasodilatation in the radial circulation of patients with coronary artery disease. Its combination with vitamin E was superior to vitamin C administration alone for endothelial enhancement but this difference was not statistically significant. We hypothesised that vitamin C or its combination with vitamin E may be used as antioxidants for arterial graft patency in patients undergoing coronary artery surgery.

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