Velocity profile of arterial blood flow and severity of peripheral arterial disease
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The flow mediated dilation (FMD) test assumes Poiseuille’s Law to calculate the shear stimulus. This universal estimation of shear stimulus could potentially lead to measurement error. This study examined evidence for potential differences in shear stimulus and the time course of reactive hyperemia in the femoral and brachial arteries in subjects with and without peripheral arterial disease (PAD). The variability of femoral velocity at peak systole was greater in PAD compared to controls (half range at rest: p=0.006; full range at rest: p=0.03; half range at peak: p=0.02; full range at peak: p=0.02). The shape of velocity profile was not different between groups. Time course of reactive hyperemia in the femoral artery was longer in subjects with PAD compared to the control. In conclusion, the distribution of blood velocity across the vessel walls was similar in healthy and diseased people, supporting the use of Poiseuille’s Law in FMD studies.