What is endothelial dysfunction?

Endothelium is the inner lining of the blood vessels. It is responsible for relaxation and contraction of the blood vessels. The endothelium also releases substances which control blood clotting and immunity of the body.

The endothelium can get damaged or inflamed due to factors like:

  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • High cholesterol
  • Smoking
  • Aging
  • Overweight
  • Lack of exercise/physical activity

All these factors cause ‘oxidative stress’ and imbalance in the functioning of the endothelial cells leading to endothelial dysfunction.

Endothelial dysfunction – the first step to heart disease

Inflammation or damage of endothelium is the first step towards thickening and hardening of arteries, formation of blockages and eventually leading to diseases like ischaemic heart disease and heart failure.


Diagnostic tests

Endothelial dysfunction is measured by analyzing the ability of your arteries to expand and contract. This can be done with a machine like the AngioDefender.

AngioDefender: The AngioDefender test takes 20 minutes to complete. During this test, an inflatable cuff, similar to the one used for blood pressure measurements is placed on your arm. The cuff contracts and expands measuring your ‘flow mediated dilatation’ (FMD) value. This value tells you your risk for developing heart disease.

AngioDefender score Risk of cardiovascular diseases
< 6.0% FMD High
6.1% to 9.9% Moderate
10.0% + Low


Basics of endothelial dysfunction management

The key for managing endothelial dysfunction is leading a healthy life!

  • Quit smoking
  • Exercise regularly
  • Use less fat and salt in your cooking
  • Increase intake antioxidant foods like strawberries, apples, nuts, grapes and green tea