Effect of hormone replacement therapy on vasomotor function of the coronary microcirculation in post-menopausal women with medically treated cardiovascular risk factors.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) on coronary vasomotor function in post-menopausal women (PM) with medically treated cardiovascular risk factors (RFs) in a cross-sectional and a longitudinal follow-up (FU) study.
METHODS AND RESULTS:
Myocardial blood flow (MBF) response to cold pressor testing (CPT) and during pharmacologically induced hyperaemia was measured with positron emission tomography in pre-menopausal women (CON), in PM with HRT and without HRT, and repeated in PM after a mean FU of 24 +/- 14 months. When compared with CON at baseline, the endothelium-related change in MBF (DeltaMBF) to CPT progressively declined in PM with HRT and without HRT (0.35 +/- 0.23 vs. 0.24 +/- 0.20 and 0.16 +/- 0.12 mL/g/min; P = 0.171 and P = 0.021). In PM without HRT and in those with HRT at baseline but with discontinuation of HRT during FU, the endothelium-related DeltaMBF to CPT was significantly less at FU than at baseline (0.05 +/- 0.19 vs. 0.16 +/- 0.12 and -0.03 +/- 0.14 vs. 0.25 +/- 0.18 mL/g/min; P = 0.023 and P = 0.001), whereas no significant change was observed in PM with HRT (0.19 +/- 0.22 vs. 0.23 +/- 0.22 mL/g/min; P = 0.453). Impaired hyperaemic MBFs when compared with CON were not significantly altered from those at baseline exam.
Long-term administration of oestrogen may contribute to maintain endothelium-dependent coronary function in PM with medically treated cardiovascular RFs.