Effect of pioglitazone on endothelial function in impaired glucose tolerance

Catherine Quinn, Christopher Lockhart, Paul Hamilton, Clodagh Loughrey, Gary McVeigh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: Flow-mediated dilation (FMD) is a surrogate marker of endothelial function, which has been proposed as a barometer of vascular health. Impaired microvascular response to reactive hyperaemia is thought to be the mechanism behind reduced shear stress and subsequently impaired FMD, which has been associated with cardiovascular events. This study aims to assess the effect of pioglitazone on the vasculature of patients with impaired glucose tolerance (IGT).

Materials and Methods: Forty IGT patients with no cardiovascular disease were compared with 24 healthy age- and sex-matched controls. Endothelial function was assessed using FMD of the brachial artery. Adiponectin (ADN) levels were measured and insulin sensitivity was calculated using homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR). A randomised double-blind placebo-controlled trial of the IGT subjects was then performed, with subjects receiving either pioglitazone 30 mg od or matched placebo for 12 weeks before the measurements were repeated.

Results: The IGT subjects had a significantly impaired FMD compared with the controls (p < 0.001). Diastolic shear stress (DSS) was also significantly reduced in IGT (p = 0.04). High molecular weight (HMW) ADN was significantly lower in the IGT group than in controls (p = 0.03). On analysis of the IGT group after 12 weeks treatment, FMD was significantly increased in the pioglitazone group compared with placebo (p = 0.03) as was endothelium-independent dilation (EID) (p = 0.03). A significant increase in total ADN (p < 0.001), HMW ADN (p < 0.001) and HMW/total ratio (p = 0.001) occurred in the pioglitazone group compared with placebo.

Conclusions: Pioglitazone improved endothelial function in IGT. Treatment with pioglitazone may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease in this patient group.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)709-715
Number of pages7
JournalDiabetes, Obesity and Metabolism
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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