Noninvasive methods for assessing early markers of atherosclerosis: The role of body composition and nutrition

Kimon Stamatelopoulos, Kalliopi Karatzi, Labros S. Sidossis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: To present the methodology used to assess early atherosclerosis and its application in assessing the impact of body composition and nutrition on the cardiovascular system. RECENT FINDINGS: Accumulating evidence supports the use of noninvasive markers of subclinical atherosclerosis, namely carotid intima-media thickness, flow-mediated dilatation of the brachial artery and augmentation index or pulse wave velocity, in the prediction of cardiovascular risk, especially in primary prevention settings. These markers reflect early initiation of the atherogenetic process, as well as the impact of the treatment currently used. Factors like smoking cessation, exercise and a balanced nutrition have a remarkable effect on these markers and consequently on vascular function. It is interesting to note that individual nutrients such as lipids, vitamins, antioxidants, ethanol, caffeine and isoflavones are capable of manipulating vascular function, which is depicted in these markers of atherosclerosis. SUMMARY: A number of noninvasive markers of early atherosclerosis are currently used in order to detect possible initiation of atherosclerotic procedure. Vascular function is greatly affected by nutrition, which might prove to be an alternative to drug therapy for reversing dysfunction of the vessels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)467-473
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Arterial stiffness
  • Flow-mediated dilatation
  • Intima-media thickness
  • Nutrition
  • Pulse wave velocity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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