The Use of Surrogate Vascular Markers in Youth at Risk for Premature Cardiovascular Disease Academic Article uri icon


  • Premature cardiovascular disease (CVD) begins in youth--a crucial period when modification of the disease may have the greatest impact. Failure to diagnose preclinical CVD at this stage misses a major opportunity to prevent the long-term consequences of this disease. An array of surrogate vascular markers (SVMs) are now available that can determine the extent of preclinical vascular injury in the pediatric population. These SVMs include flow-mediated vasodilatation, carotid intima media thickness, arterial stiffness, and biomarkers including high sensitivity C-reactive protein, cell adhesion molecules and methylarginines. We believe that the use of these SVMs will help to develop a better understanding of early pathological vascular changes in youth, facilitate earlier diagnosis of preclinical atherosclerosis and provide an objective measure of the vascular effects of any therapeutic intervention aimed at risk factor modification. Ultimately, our future health will depend on carefully balancing the benefits of early diagnosis and treatment in high-risk youth with the long-term risk of CVD. The application of SVMs in the pediatric population will help us achieve this balance.

author list (cited authors)

  • McNeal, C. J., Wilson, D. P., Christou, D., Bush, R. L., Shepherd, L. G., Santiago, J., & Wu, G. Y.

citation count

  • 13
  • 14

publication date

  • March 2009