Endothelial dysfunction is associated with left ventricular morphology and long-term cardiovascular outcomes. The purpose of this study was to assess the relationship between both baseline brachial artery diameter and peripheral endothelial function (assessed by brachial artery ultrasonography) and right ventricular (RV) mass, RV end-diastolic volume (RVEDV), and RV ejection fraction (RVEF).
The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) performed cardiac MRI and brachial artery ultrasonography on participants without clinical cardiovascular disease. Baseline brachial artery diameter and flow-mediated dilation were assessed.
The mean age was 60.9 years, and 49.4% of subjects were men (n = 2,425). In adjusted models, larger brachial artery diameter was strongly associated with greater RV mass (β = 0.55 g, P < .001), larger RVEDV (β = 3.99 mL, P < .001), and decreased RVEF (β = −0.46%, P = .03). These relationships persisted after further adjustment for the respective left ventricular parameters. Flow-mediated dilation was not associated with RV mass or RVEF and was only weakly associated with RVEDV.
Brachial artery diameter is associated with greater RV mass and RVEDV, as well as lower RVEF. Changes in the systemic arterial circulation may have pathophysiologic links to pulmonary vascular dysfunction or abnormalities in RV perfusion.