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Keywords:

  • atherosclerosis;
  • cardiovascular risk factors;
  • endothelial function;
  • flow-mediated dilatation;
  • intima-media thickness;
  • lacunar infarction

Objectives –  To evaluate systemic endothelial function and atherosclerotic changes in patients with lacunar infarctions (LI) we examined flow-mediated dilatation (FMD) and intima-media thickness (IMT) and compared them to patients with similar risk factors (SR) and healthy controls.

Methods –  FMD and IMT were investigated in patients with LI (20 patients, aged 60.9 ± 7.3 years), 21 age- and gender-matched patients with SR and 21 healthy controls.

Results –  FMD was more impaired in patients with LI (0.4% ± 5.0%) compared to patients with SR (3.8% ± 4.8%) and healthy controls (7.9% ± 6.0%) (P ≤ 0.01), whereas IMT was similarly thickened in both groups of patients.

Conclusions –  We found that patients with LI have a diminished FMD, but a similar IMT, compared to patients with SR. Our results reveal that for a given level of atherosclerosis patients with LI have additional endothelial impairment.