Current Hypertension Reports

, Volume 12, Issue 6, pp 448–455 | Cite as

Vascular Endothelial Function and Hypertension: Insights and Directions

  • Kodlipet Dharmashankar
  • Michael E. WidlanskyEmail author


Hypertension contributes significantly to worldwide cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Hypertension appears to have a complex association with endothelial dysfunction, a phenotypical alteration of the vascular endothelium that precedes the development of adverse cardiovascular events and portends future cardiovascular risk. This review concentrates on recent findings with respect to the mechanisms of hypertension-associated endothelial dysfunction, the interrelationship between these two entities, and the relationship of the efficacy of antihypertensive therapies to improvements in vascular homeostasis beyond blood pressure reduction. Current evidence suggests that hypertension and endothelial dysfunction are integrally related with respect to pathophysiologic mechanisms. Future studies will need to identify the key connections between hypertension and endothelial dysfunction to allow novel interventions to be designed and promulgated.


Hypertension Endothelium Cardiovascular risk Sodium Nitric oxide Mitochondria NADPH oxidase Mineralocorticoid receptor Oxidative stress Inflammation 



Dr. Dharmashankar is supported by a Ruth L. Kirschstein NIH T32 training grant (HL007792-15). Dr. Widlansky’s work is supported by K23HL089326, AHA Grant-in-Aid 10GRNT3880044, and a grant from the Greater Milwaukee Foundation.


No potential conflicts of interest relevant to this article were reported.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Medical College of WisconsinMilwaukeeUSA

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