A monolayer that lines the entire cardiovascular system, with a surface area estimated the be more than 1000m2.
0.01% of adult endothelial cells are in the S-phase at any given time.
The endothelium maintains the fluidity of blood, the integrity of blood vessels by maintaining the balance between blood’s fluid and gel forms.
The endothelium produces nitric oxide and prostacyclin which are vasodilators and endothelin and thromboxane A2 which are vasoconstrictors.
Have the capacity to modulate hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction.
Function impaired by hyperlipidemia.
Dysfunction as measured by flow mediated dilation is one of the early markers of atherosclerosis and predictor of future cardiovascular events.
Endothelial dysfunction is a precursor of atherosclerosis and is often examined noninvasively using ultrasound of brachial flow-mediated dilation.
Flow-mediated dilation is correlated with endothelial-dependent dilation of coronary arteries and cardiovascular events.