Which brachial artery findings on ultrasonography are characteristic of noncoronary atherosclerosis?

Updated: Dec 23, 2019
  • Author: F Brian Boudi, MD, FACP; Chief Editor: Yasmine S Ali, MD, FACC, FACP, MSCI  more...
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Answer

Answer

The loss of endothelium-dependent vasodilation is a feature of even the early stages of atherosclerosis.

Flow-mediated dilation of the brachial artery has been pioneered as a means of evaluating the health and integrity of the endothelium. The healthy endothelium dilates in response to an increase in blood flow, whereas vessels affected by atherosclerosis do not dilate and may paradoxically constrict.

The availability of high-resolution ultrasonographic systems makes the visualization and measurement of small, peripheral conduit vessels, such as the human brachial artery, possible.


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