Evidence of microvascular dysfunction in patients with cystic fibrosis

Paula Rodriguez-Miguelez, Jeffrey Thomas, Nichole Seigler, Reva Crandall, Kathleen T. McKie, Caralee Forseen, Ryan A. Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a genetic, multisystemic disorder with broad clinical manifestations apart from the well-characterized pulmonary dysfunction. Recent findings have described impairment in conduit vessel function in patients with CF; however, whether microvascular function is affected in this population has yet to be elucidated. Using laser-Doppler imaging, we evaluated microvascular function through postocclusive reactive hyperemia (PORH), local thermal hyperemia (LTH), and iontophoresis with acetylcholine (ACh). PORH [518 ± 174% (CF) and 801 ± 125% (control), P = 0.039], LTH [1,338 ± 436% (CF) and 1,574 ± 620% (control), P = 0.045], and iontophoresis with ACh [416 ± 140% (CF) and 617 ± 143% (control), P = 0.032] were significantly lower in patients with CF than control subjects. In addition, the ratio of PORH to LTH was significantly (P = 0.043) lower in patients with CF (55.3 ± 5.1%) than control subjects (68.8 ± 3.1%). Significant positive correlations between LTH and forced expiratory volume in 1 s (%predicted) (r = 0.441, P = 0.013) and between the PORH-to-LTH ratio and exercise capacity (r = 0.350, P = 0.049) were observed. These data provide evidence of microvascular dysfunction in patients with CF compared with control subjects. In addition, our data demonstrate a complex relationship between microvascular function and classical markers of disease severity (i.e., pulmonary function and exercise capacity) in CF.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)H1479-H1485
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 2016


  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Endothelial function
  • Endothelium-dependent vasodilation
  • Microvascular function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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