Endothelial function: A barometer of cardiovascular health
The endothelium is the single-cell-thick interior lining of all blood vessels in the body. Dilation of blood vessels is enabled by endothelial cells, which release vasodilators like nitric oxide (NO) in response to increased blood flow. The percentage difference in diameter between fully dilated and resting blood vessels is known as flow-mediated dilation (FMD). Healthier vessels release more NO, leading to a higher FMD and a lower risk of CVD and atherosclerosis. The AngioDefender™ system measures these sensitive changes, then calculates and converts them into an FMD score. The process behind FMD is illustrated below.