Patients with glycogen storage disease type I (GSD-I) often have marked hyperlipidemia with abnormal lipoprotein profiles. This metabolic abnormality improves, but is not fully corrected, with dietary therapy; therefore, these patients may be at high risk for the development of atherosclerosis. A recently discussed cardiovascular risk factor, asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA), a naturally occuring product of asymmetric methylation of proteins, is an endogenous inhibitor of endothelial nitric oxide synthase. ADMA causes endothelial dysfunction, vasoconstriction, blood pressure elevation, atherosclerosis, and kidney disease progression. A high prevalence of elevated plasma ADMA levels is observed in adults with hypercholesterolemia, hypertension, chronic kidney disease, diabetes mellitus, peripheral arterial disease, coronary artery disease, preeclampsia, heart failure, liver disease, stroke, and many other clinical disorders. Therefore, we aimed to evaluate the endothelial function in patients with GSD-I by using ADMA levels. High-performance liquid chromatography - based method was used for measuring ADMA and L-arginine levels in plasma. The ADMA level was similar between children with GSD-I and the age-matched healthy control group (0.9 +/- 0.28 vs. 1.1 +/- 0.45 mu mol/L; p=0.18). The L-arginine plasma levels in patients with GSD-I were found to be 55.7 +/- 41.3 and 91.6 +/- 50.2 mu mol/L in healthy controls. The preservation of normal endothelial function may result from diminished platelet aggregation, increased levels of apolipoprotein E, decreased susceptibility of low-density lipoprotein to oxidation (possibly related to the altered lipoprotein fatty acid profile in GSD-I), and increased antioxidative defenses in plasma protecting against lipid peroxidation.