The purpose of this study was to document the temporal changes in vascular reactivity occurring simultaneously in central, peripheral and microvascular resistance arteries in the same cohort of women during the normal menstrual cycle. Twenty-three (n = 23) women (mean age (±SD) = 19 ± 1 y) were tested during four phases of a normal menstrual cycle. Delineation of the four phases occurred as follows: (1) the early follicular phase; (2) the late follicular (LF) phase; (3) the early luteal (EL) phase; and (4) the late luteal phase. Non-invasive measurement of central hemodynamics and peripheral artery pulse wave velocity (PWV) were performed using applanation tonometry. Measurement of peripheral endothelial function was determined by flow-mediated dilation (FMD) testing in the brachial artery and venous occlusion plethysmography in the forearm and calf resistance arteries. Additionally, plasma NOx and 17β-estradiol (E) concentrations were measured. Both central (aortic) and peripheral blood pressure (BP) were lowest (P < 0.05) during the LF phase and BP reduction was sustained (P < 0.05) into the EL phase. The timing and amplitude of the reflected pressure wave were attenuated only during the LF phase (P < 0.05). No temporal changes were observed in either central (carotid-femoral) or peripheral PWV (femoral-dorsalis pedis, carotid-radial). Peak forearm and calf blood flow during reactive hyperemia were greatest in LF. Brachial FMD was greatest during the LF phase (P < 0.05). Plasma E and NOx concentrations were highest during the LF phase (P < 0.05). Young premenopausal women experienced an overwhelming pattern of reduced BP and increased systemic vascular reactivity during the LF phase prior to ovulation.
- Arterial reactivity
- Menstrual cycle
- Nitric oxide
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)