Objectives. Flow mediated vasodilation (FMD) is a marker of endothelial function and its decline is related to increased cardiovascular risk. This systematic review and meta-analysis evaluated the impact of bariatric surgery on FMD. Materials and methods. A systematic literature search in PubMed, Scopus, Embase, and Web of Science was performed to 1 May 2021. Meta-analysis was performed using Comprehensive Meta-Analysis (CMA) V2 software. All types of bariatric surgery were considered, with the inclusion that FMD had to have been tested before and after the surgical procedure. Meta-analysis was carried out using a random-effects model and the generic inverse variance approach. The leave-one-out approach was used for sensitivity analysis. To assess metabolic parameter confounders, a weighted random-effects meta-regression was used. Results. A meta-analysis and a systematic review of 23 studies (n = 891 individuals) demonstrated improvement in FMD following bariatric surgery (weighted mean difference (WMD): 5.867, 95% CI: 4.481, 7.252, p < 0.001; I2: 96.70). Iteratively removing each item in the meta-analysis did not result in a significant alteration in the pooled estimate of effect size. There was an improvement in FMD for up to 6 months following bariatric surgery in a meta-analysis from 7 trials that included 356 subjects (WMD: 5.248, 95% CI: 2.361, 8.135, p < 0.001; I2: 98.18). The meta-analysis from 9 trials (n = 414 subjects) showed an improvement in FMD 6 to 12 months after bariatric surgery (WMD: 5.451, 95% CI: 3.316, 7.587, p < 0.001; I2: 94.18). The meta-analysis from 10 trials (n = 414 subjects) demonstrated an improvement in FMD 12 months after bariatric surgery (WMD: 2.401, 95% CI: 0.944, 3.859, p = 0.001; I2: 88.35). Random-effects meta-regression did not show any association between the alteration in FMD and percent body mass index (BMI) change (slope: 0.0258; 95% CI: −0.323, 0.375; p = 0.884), or changes in blood pressure; however, there was an association between the changes in FMD and the duration of follow-up (slope: −0.106; 95% CI: −0.205, −0.008; p = 0.033) with greater changes in FMD after 12 months. Conclusions. Bariatric surgery significantly improved FMD that increased with time, and the resultant improvement in endothelial function was independent of weight loss or a reduction in blood pressure.
ASJC Scopus subject areas