Acute and mid-term combined hormone replacement therapy improves endothelial function in post-menopausal women with angina and angiographically normal coronary arteries
European Heart Journal
Aims and background Coronary endothelial dysfunction improves after acute oestradiol treatment in women with angina and normal coronary angiograms. We sought to analyse whether this effect is also seen in the peripheral circulation and whether it is sustained after a mid-term period of treatment. Methods We studied 20 women with angina, signs suggestive of myocardial ischaemia and normal coronary angiograms. In five of them, coronary and peripheral endothelial functions were studied at
... studied at baseline. Brachial artery flowmediated dilation was reanalysed after 24 h of transdermal oestradiol treatment. In the other 15 women, brachial artery vasoreactivity was studied at baseline and after a 6-week period of treatment with transdermal oestradiol and medroxyprogesterone (HRT) or placebo in a doubleblinded crossover fashion. Results An abnormal coronary artery response to acetylcholine was observed in all women as well as impaired brachial flow-mediated dilation. Brachial flow-mediated dilation significantly increased after 24 h of oestradiol treat-ment (4·8 0·8% vs 0·06 0·6%, P<0·001). Peripheral flow-mediated dilation also increased after a 6-week period of HRT compared with baseline (4·1 3% vs 0·4 1%, P<0·01) and placebo treatment (4·1 3% vs 0·6 1·7%, P<0·01). Conclusion Impaired endothelium-dependent vasodilation exists both at the coronary and peripheral circulation in post-menopausal women with angina and normal coronary angiograms. Flow-mediated dilation improves in these women after short and mid-term therapy with transdermal oestradiol irrespective of concomitant progesterone use.