High-flow-mediated constriction in adults is not influenced by biomarkers of cardiovascular and metabolic risk

Joseph D. Ostrem, Nicholas G. Evanoff, Justin R. Ryder, Julia Steinberger, Alan R. Sinaiko, Katie L. Bisch, Niklas M. Brinck, Donald R. Dengel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: During reactive hyperemia, the brachial artery in some individuals constricts prior to dilation. Our aim was to describe the frequency of high-flow-mediated constriction (H-FMC) in adults, and its relationship to body composition and biomarkers of cardiovascular and metabolic risk. Methods: Two hundred forty-six adults (124 male, 122 female; 36 ± 7 years old) were assessed for H-FMC via sonographic imaging of the brachial artery. Blood pressure, glucose, insulin, lipids, and body composition assessed via dual energy X-ray absorptiometry were collected. H-FMC was characterized as a 10-second average of maximal postocclusion constriction. Independent t test was used to compare H-FMC versus non-H-FMC individuals. Results: H-FMC was observed in approximately 69% of adult participants (54 obese, 57 overweight, and 59 normal weight). Total body mass (82.3 ± 17.5 versus 76.3 ± 16.3 kg, p = 0.012), fat mass (27.7 ± 11.5 versus 23.8 ± 10.5 kg, p = 0.012), body mass index (27.7 ± 4.9 versus 26.1 ± 5.0 kg/m2, p = 0.018), and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol/high-density lipoprotein cholesterol ratio (2.41 ± 1.03 versus 2.09 ± 0.72, p = 0.007) were higher in H-FMC than in non-H-FMC individuals. Flow-mediated dilatation (FMD) (6.12 ± 3.48 versus 8.09 ± 3.02%, p < 0.001) was lower in H-FMC subjects. However, there was no difference in brachial artery dilation between groups (7.57 ± 3.69 versus 8.09 ± 3.02%, p = 0.250) when H-FMC was added to FMD. Conclusions: Increased body mass, fat mass, and body mass index were associated with a greater H-FMC. When H-FMC was present, the FMD response to reactive hyperemia was significantly lower. Because H-FMC has been observed to negatively affect FMD response to reactive hyperemia, we suggest that H-FMC should be noted when analyzing and interpreting FMD data. H-FMC may be an ancillary measure of endothelial health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-42
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical Ultrasound
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017


  • adults
  • flow-mediated dilation
  • reactive hyperemia
  • ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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