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Postgrad Med. 2014 Mar;126(2):38-53. doi: 10.3810/pgm.2014.03.2739.

Endothelial dysfunction in metabolic and vascular disorders.

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Cardiology Clinic, Clinical Center of Serbia, Belgrade, Serbia.


Vascular endothelium has important regulatory functions in the cardiovascular system and a pivotal role in the maintenance of vascular health and metabolic homeostasis. It has long been recognized that endothelial dysfunction participates in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis from early, preclinical lesions to advanced, thrombotic complications. In addition, endothelial dysfunction has been recently implicated in the development of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Considering that states of insulin resistance (eg, metabolic syndrome, impaired fasting glucose, impaired glucose tolerance, and T2DM) represent the most prevalent metabolic disorders and risk factors for atherosclerosis, it is of considerable scientific and clinical interest that both metabolic and vascular disorders have endothelial dysfunction as a common background. Importantly, endothelial dysfunction has been associated with adverse outcomes in patients with established cardiovascular disease, and a growing body of evidence indicates that endothelial dysfunction also imparts adverse prognosis in states of insulin resistance. In this review, we discuss the association of insulin resistance and T2DM with endothelial dysfunction and vascular disease, with a focus on the underlying mechanisms and prognostic implications of the endothelial dysfunction in metabolic and vascular disorders. We also address current therapeutic strategies for the improvement of endothelial dysfunction.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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