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Venous endothelial function in cardiovascular disease

Patrizia Dardi, Daniela Esteves Ferreira dos Reis Costa, Henrique Charlanti Reis Assunção,
Published: 23 November 2022

Abstract: The essential role of the endothelium in vascular homeostasis is associated with the release of endothelium-dependent relaxing and contractile factors (EDRF and EDCF, respectively). Different from arteries, where these factors are widely studied, the vasoactive factors derived from the venous endothelium have been given less attention. There is evidence for a role of the nitric oxide (NO), endothelium-dependent hyperpolarization (EDH) mechanism, and cyclooxygenase (COX)-derived metabolites as EDRFs; while the EDCFs need to be better evaluated since no consensus has been reached about their identity in venous vessels. The imbalance between the synthesis, bioavailability, and/or action of EDRFs and/or EDCFs results in a pathological process known as endothelial dysfunction, which leads to reduced vasodilation and/or increased vasoconstriction. In the venous system, endothelial dysfunction is relevant since reduced venodilation may increase venous tone and decrease venous compliance, thus enhancing mean circulatory filling pressure, which maintains or modify cardiac workload contributing to the etiology of cardiovascular diseases. Interestingly, some alterations in venous function appear at the early stages (or even before) the establishment of these diseases. However, if the venous endothelium dysfunction is involved in these alterations is not yet fully understood and requires further studies. In this sense, the present study aims to review the current knowledge on venous endothelial function and dysfunction, and the general state of the venous tone in two important cardiovascular diseases of high incidence and morbimortality worldwide: hypertension and heart failure.
Keywords: Venous System / Venous Tone / Endothelium / Hypertension / Heart Failure

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