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Endothelial dysfunction and decreased exercise tolerance in interferon-alpha therapy in chronic hepatitis C: Relation between exercise hyperemia and endothelial function

Endothelial dysfunction and decreased exercise tolerance in interferon-alpha therapy in chronic hepatitis C: Relation between exercise hyperemia and endothelial function

Clinical Cardiology 24(4): 286-290

Background: We previously reported that reversible endothelial dysfunction is caused by interferon-alpha therapy (IFN) in patients with chronic hepatitis C. In experimental studies, limb blood flow during exercise is reported to be dependent on endothelium-derived nitric oxide. Hypothesis: The purpose of this study was to confirm the effect of IFN on endothelial function and to investigate whether exercise hyperemia is dependent on endothelial function in humans. Methods: We performed symptom-limited exercise treadmill testing and measured flow-mediated vasodilation (FMD, endothelium-dependent vasodilation) and sublingual glyceryl-trinitrate-induced dilation (GTN-D, 0.3 mg, endothelium-independent vasodilation) in the brachial artery by using high-resolution ultrasound in 10 patients with chronic active hepatitis C (age 53 +- 11 years, 2 men, 8 women) before and immediately after administration of recombinant interferon 2b (10 million U/day) for 4 weeks. Results: There were no significant abnormal findings in any patients in routine studies of 24-h ambulatory electrocardiogram monitoring, two-dimensional echocardiography, and exercise treadmill testing both before and after treatment. Leg fatigue and exhaustion were the reasons for termination of exercise treadmill testing in each patient. Pressure rate product was calculated at rest and peak exercise. Interferon-alpha therapy significantly (p<0.05) decreased FMD (6.8 +- 3.1 vs. 1.9 +- 2.6%), exercise treadmill testing tolerance time (437 +- 89 vs. 395 +- 62 s) and peak pressure rate product (283 +- 41 vs. 241 +- 47 mmHg cntdot beats/min cntdot 10-2), but not GTN-D (13.4 +- 5.4 vs. 17.0 +- 5.5%). The change of FMD due to IFN significantly and highly correlated with exercise treadmill testing tolerance time (r = 0.86, p<0.001), but not with change of peak pressure rate product, suggesting that FMD is more closely related to the condition of the peripheral circulation than is cardiac performance. Conclusion: These results suggest that IFN in patients with chronic hepatitis C impairs endothelial function and exercise tolerance, and that endothelial function might be at least partly involved in exercise hyperemia in humans.

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Accession: 010585872

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 11303695

DOI: 10.1002/clc.4960240406

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