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Volume 32, Nº 1, January and February 2019


DOI: http://www.dx.doi.org/10.5935/2359-4802.20180067


Endothelial Dysfunction and Pulse Wave Reflection in Women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

Marcelo Burlá

Ana Rosa Cunha

Ronaldo Gismondi

Wille Oigman

Mario Fritsch Neves

Fernanda Medeiros


Background: Patients with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) have an increased prevalence of metabolic syndrome and traditional atherosclerotic risk factors, such as dyslipidemia, diabetes and hypertension. Endothelial function and vascular stiffness are surrogate markers of early atherosclerosis, able to predict cardiovascular events.

Objective: To compare endothelial function and pulse wave reflection between women with PCOS and healthy controls.

Methods: Observational and cross-sectional study that included women with PCOS, age between 18 and 40 years-old and body mass index between 25.0 and 35.0 kg/m2, and healthy controls. Rotterdan criteria was used to diagnose PCOS. Subjects underwent clinical and anthropometric evaluation, laboratory and hormonal assays and imaging tests to measure pulse wave velocity (PWV), augmentation index (AIx) and brachial artery flow-mediated vasodilation (FMD). Kolmogorov-Smirnov test showed normal distribution of most parameters. Unpaired Student t-test was used with significance level established at p < 0.05.

Results: A total of 52 patients were included, 29 (56%) in PCOS group and 23 (44%) in control group. Clinical and laboratory parameters were similar between the groups. Women with PCOS had lower FMD (8.8 ± 1.0 vs 12.8 ± 1.2%, p = 0.021); PWV and AIx were similar between the groups (7.5 ± 0.2 vs 7.5 ± 0.3 m/s, p = 0.671 and 21.0 ± 1 vs. 20 ± 2%, p = 0.716, respectively). In the PCOS group, women with higher testosterone levels had higher Aix (25 ± 2 vs. 17 ± 3%, p = 0.045).

Conclusions: PCOS women had endothelial dysfunction and those with higher testosterone levels had higher pulse wave reflection as compared with controls (Int J Cardiovasc Sci. 2019;32(1)3-9)

Keywords: Endothelium, Vascular; Vascular,Stiffness; Metabolic Syndrome; Polycistic Ovary Syndrome; Insulin Resistance; Testosterone.