To characterize brachial artery flow-mediated dilatation (FMD) in children, we monitored arterial diameter changes with ultrasound between 40 and 180 s after a 4.5-min forearm cuff occlusion-induced hyperemia in 105 healthy children (mean age, 11 yr; range, 9-16 yr). The peak FMD was 7.7 +/- 4.0% and occurred 79 +/- 33 s after cuff release. FMD at 60 s (5.3 +/- 4.0%) was significantly lower than the peak FMD (P < 0.0001). Twenty-three percent of the children (n = 24) reached peak FMD first after 110 s of postocclusion. Compared with others, these late responders weighed less, had smaller vessel size, and were more often girls, but had similar peak FMD. In multivariate analysis, FMD responses were inversely associated with brachial artery baseline diameter and serum cholesterol concentration. We conclude that the time to reach the peak FMD response in children varies considerably. When studying endothelial function in children with the use of the noninvasive ultrasound method, several brachial artery diameter measurements up to 120 s after cuff release are needed to determine the true FMD peak response.
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