Author(s): Bger RH
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Abstract Evidence has accumulated that asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA) is an endogenous competitive inhibitor of nitric oxide (NO) synthase. ADMA inhibits vascular NO production at concentrations found in pathophysiological conditions; it also causes local vasoconstriction when infused intra-arterially. ADMA is increased in the plasma of humans with hypercholesterolemia, atherosclerosis, hypertension, chronic renal failure, chronic heart failure, and other clinical conditions. Increased ADMA levels are associated with reduced NO synthesis as assessed by impaired endothelium-dependent vasodilation or reduced NO metabolite levels. In several prospective and cross-sectional studies, ADMA has evolved as a marker of cardiovascular risk. Moreover, prospective clinical studies have suggested that it may play a role as a novel cardiovascular risk factor. Zoccali and coworkers were the first to show that elevated ADMA is associated with a three-fold increased risk of future severe cardiovascular events and mortality in patients undergoing hemodialysis. Valkonen and coworkers demonstrated in a nested case-control study that elevated ADMA was associated with a four-fold increased risk for acute coronary events in clinically healthy, nonsmoking men. In patients with stable angina pectoris, preinterventional ADMA indicates the risk of developing restenosis or severe clinical events after coronary intervention. Furthermore, in humans with no underlying cardiovascular disease who are undergoing intensive care unit treatment, ADMA is a marker of the mortality risk. A number of additional prospective clinical trials are currently under way in diverse patient populations, among them individuals with congestive heart failure, cardiac transplantation patients, and patients with pulmonary hypertension. In summary, an increasing number of prospective clinical trials have shown that the association between elevated ADMA levels and major cardiovascular events and total mortality is robust and extends to diverse patient populations. However, we need to define more clearly in the future who will profit from ADMA determination, in order to use this novel risk marker as a more specific diagnostic tool.
This article was published in Vasc Med
and referenced in Journal of Proteomics & Bioinformatics