gms | German Medical Science

27. Wissenschaftlicher Kongress der Deutschen Hochdruckliga

Deutsche Liga zur Bekämpfung des hohen Blutdrucks – Deutsche Hypertonie Gesellschaft e. V.

26. bis 29.11.2003, Bonn

Uric Acid Levels are associated with Endothelium-dependent Vasodilatation in Subjects with Essential Hypertension

Harnsäure-Spiegel sind assoziiert mit endothelabhängiger Vasodilatation bei Patienten mit essentieller Hypertonie

Meeting Abstract (Hypertonie 2003)

  • presenting/speaker M. Schneider - Medizinische Klinik IV/ Nephrologie (Erlangen-Nürnberg, D)
  • T. Schwarz - Medizinische Klinik IV/ Nephrologie (Erlangen-Nürnberg, D)
  • C. Delles - Medizinische Klinik IV/ Nephrologie (Erlangen-Nürnberg, D)
  • T. Schäufele - Medizinische Klinik IV/ Nephrologie (Erlangen-Nürnberg, D)
  • B. Schmidt - Medizinische Klinik IV/ Nephrologie (Erlangen-Nürnberg, D)
  • S. John - Medizinische Klinik IV/ Nephrologie (Erlangen-Nürnberg, D)
  • R. Schmieder - Medizinische Klinik IV/ Nephrologie (Erlangen-Nürnberg, D)

Hypertonie 2003. 27. Wissenschaftlicher Kongress der Deutschen Hochdruckliga. Bonn, 26.-29.11.2003. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2004. Doc03hochP54

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: November 11, 2004

© 2004 Schneider et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.




Uric acid levels are elevated in subjects at high cardiovascular risk and are linked to an increased rate of cardiovascular events. The mechanism, however, has not been elucidated yet. Impaired endothelium-dependent vasodilation in the forearm vasculature has also been linked to an elevated cardiovascular risk in hypertensive subjects. We therefore hypothesized that uric acid levels may be associated with altered endothelium-dependent vasodilation.


In 60 hypertensive subjects and in 20 normotensive controls, endothelium-dependent and -independent vasodilation were assessed by plethysmographic monitoring of forearm blood flow responses (FBF) to intraarterial infusion of acetylcholine (Ach) at doses of 12 and 48 mg/min and nitroprusside at doses of 3.2 and 12.8 mg/min, respectively. NG-monomethyl-L-arginine (L-NMMA) was infused to analyse nitric oxide (NO) mediated basal vascular tone at doses of 4, 8 and 16 mmol/min.


Uric acid levels tended to be higher in hypertensive than in normotensive subjects (5.5±1.4 versus 4.8±1.5 mg/dl, p=0.08). Uric acid levels were associated with an impaired FBF response to Ach 12 mg/min (r=-0.33, p=0.003) and to 48 mg/min (r=-0.29, p=0.009) but were not associated with the reponses to nitroprusside and L-NMMA. In the group of hypertensive subjects, the correlation remained significant (DAch 12 mg/min: r=-0.32, p=0.013 and DAch 48 mg/min: r=-0.29, p=0.023, respectively). In the group of normotensive subjects, however, no correlation between uric acid levels and endothelium-dependent vasodilation was found.


Uric acid levels are linked to impaired endothelium-dependent vasodilation in subjects with essential hypertension. Elevated uric acid levels may therefore increase cardiovascular risk by altering endothelium-dependent vasodilation.