Traditional cardiovascular risk factors have been shown to cause microvascular dysfunction. Most studies that have evaluated microcirculation rely on invasive measurement tools. We used dobutamine stress echocardiography, a validated method to measure coronary flow velocity (CFV) and coronary flow reserve (CFR), in a previously unstudied population without known significant coronary artery disease to determine the impact of traditional risk factors on CFR. Consecutive patients who had no evidence of regional wall motion abnormalities at rest or during dobutamine stress echocardiography were studied. Left anterior descending artery CFV was measured at baseline and at peak dobutamine stress and CFR was calculated as the ratio of peak stress CFV to baseline CFV. Fifty-nine consecutive patients (28 men) with mean age of 66.8 ± 14.5 years were studied. CFR was lower in patients with diabetes mellitus (DM) compared with those without (1.7 ± 0.74 vs 2.48 ± 0.98, p <0.007), in patients with hypertension compared with those without (2 ± 0.8 vs 2.6 ± 0.9, p <0.02), and in obese patients compared with nonobese patients (1.6 ± 0.5 vs 2 ± 0.6, p <0.02). CFR was further impaired in the presence of DM with hypertension, DM with obesity, DM with a wide pulse pressure (>50 mm Hg), and obesity with a wide pulse pressure. In a multivariate model, DM, obesity, and wide pulse pressure were significantly associated with variation in CFR (p <0.0008). In conclusion, CFR was abnormal in patients with DM, hypertension, and obesity. CFR impairment is exaggerated as the number of risk factors increases. Despite a negative dobutamine stress echocardiographic result, aggressive risk factor assessment and control should be implemented in patients with coronary risk factors due to an underlying abnormal CFR.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine