Cassandra C. Derella1,2, Nichole Lee2, Reva Crandall3, Marsha Blackburn2, Jacob Looney2, Amie Mangieri2, Paula Rodriguez-Miguelez4, Matthew A. Tucker2, Ryan A. Harris1,2,5


1Department of Physiology, Augusta University, Augusta GA

2Georgia Prevention Institute, Department of Population Health Sciences, Augusta University, Augusta GA

3Department of Respiratory Care, Augusta University, Augusta GA

4Department of Kinesiology and Health Sciences, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond VA

5Sport and Exercise Science Research Institute, University of Ulster, Jordanstown, Northern Ireland, UK


What was your research question?

We wanted to know if assessments of vascular health, as measured by flow-mediated dilation (FMD), are reproducible within-day, between-days, and between-months in people with cystic fibrosis (CF).

Why is this important?

New therapies have helped to improve the life expectancy of people with CF; however, age-related conditions, such as cardiovascular complications are now a growing concern. As the awareness of vascular complications increases, there is a need for a reliable measure of cardiovascular disease risk in CF.

What did you do?

We used the non-invasive FMD test to measure vascular function in people with CF at different time points to assess if the measurement is stable over time. A total of 13 people with CF (six males, seven females, age range: 13-43 years old; mean forced expiratory volume in 1 second = 71 % predicted) participated and complete the study. Measurements were repeated within the same day, on different days and three months apart for a between-month assessment. Lung function and other health measures were also monitored during these different time

What did you find?

In people with CF, measuring vascular function with the FMD test is reproducible not only within a single day, but also between-days and between-months as well.

what does this mean and reasons for caution?

The FMD test may be used more regularly as a reliable measurement of vascular health in people with CF.  The findings of this study also support the use of FMD to monitor vascular function in response to new therapies developed for people with CF.  It is important to understand that this study was completed in people with stable lung function across visits; therefore, the findings may not apply to those experiencing a pulmonary exacerbation.

What’s next?

Further research is needed to assess how poor lung function and acute exacerbations can influence vascular health using the FMD test.


Original manuscript citation in PubMed

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