Increased high-risk coronary plaque burden is associated with arterial stiffness in patients with type 2 diabetes without clinical signs of coronary artery disease: a computed tomography angiography study

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OBJECTIVES: Arterial stiffness and subclinical coronary atherosclerosis may yield valuable information on cardiovascular risk. We aimed to characterize coronary atherosclerosis in asymptomatic patients with type 2 diabetes and healthy controls and to investigate the association between baseline arterial stiffness and coronary plaque volumes after 5-year follow-up.

METHODS: Data from 45 patients and 61 matched controls were available for coronary plaque assessment. For analysis including carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (PWV), 43 patients and 55 controls were available. At follow-up, mean (SD) age of participants was 63 ± 10 years, and mean diabetes duration (SD) in the patient group was 7.8 ± 1.4 years. Arterial stiffness (PWV) was assessed by tonometry at both visits. Total, calcified, noncalcified, low-density noncalcified coronary plaques volumes and other plaque characteristics were assessed by coronary computed tomography angiography at follow-up.

RESULTS: Despite of similar or better blood pressure and plasma lipid control, patients had, compared with controls, a higher number of plaques with spotty calcifications (P < 0.01) and remodeling index more than 1.1 (P < 0.05), larger calcified plaque volumes [patients vs.

CONTROLS: 11 (0-65) vs. 3 (0-30) μl (P = 0.03)] and higher PWV [patients vs. controls at baseline: 9.1 ± 2.2 vs. 7.9 ± 1.4 m/s (P < 0.01), at follow-up: 9.3 ± 2.3 vs. 8.4 ± 1.8 m/s (P = 0.02)]. Baseline PWV was associated with volumes of all plaque types in crude analysis (P < 0.01) and with low-density noncalcified plaque volume in analysis adjusted for age, sex, diabetes and blood pressure (P = 0.01).

CONCLUSION: Coronary plaques with unfavorable characteristics are more prevalent in well controlled asymptomatic patients with type 2 diabetes compared with healthy controls and independently associated with arterial stiffness.Clinical trials registration number: NCT02001532.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Hypertension
Pages (from-to)1235-1243
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017

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