Endothelial function and dysfunction. Part I: Methodological issues for assessment in the different vascular beds

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Abstract

An enormous number of studies in the last two decades have been devoted to investigating the role of the endothelium in cardiovascular diseases. Nonetheless, the optimal methodology for investigating the multifaceted aspects of endothelial dysfunction is still under debate. Biochemical markers, molecular genetic tests and invasive and non-invasive tools with and without pharmacological and physiological stimuli have been introduced. Furthermore newer pharmacological tools have been proposed. However, the application of these methodologies should fulfil a number of requirements in order to provide conclusive answers in this area of research. Thus, the most relevant methodological issues in the research on endothelial function and dysfunction are summarized in this paper.

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