Increased echolucency of carotid plaques in patients with type 2 diabetes

Clinical Research Unit, Malmö University Hospital, Malmö, Sweden.
Stroke (Impact Factor: 5.72). 08/2007; 38(7):2074-8. DOI: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.106.480830
Source: PubMed


Diabetes is associated with the presence of moderate to large atherosclerotic carotid plaques. Previous carotid ultrasound studies have associated plaques with low echogenicity with a higher risk of cerebrovascular events. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether patients with type 2 diabetes have different plaque echogenicity than do nondiabetic subjects.
Forty-seven type 2 diabetic and 51 nondiabetic subjects with a carotid plaque in the right artery were included in this study. All patients were born in 1935 to 1936 and were participants in a population-based study. Carotid ultrasonography was performed and the risk factors for cardiovascular disease were determined. Plaque echogenicity was assessed quantitatively on B-mode ultrasound images by standardized gray-scale median values.
Gray-scale median values were significantly lower, indicating more echolucent plaques, in patients with type 2 diabetes compared with nondiabetics (37.0+/-14.8 vs 45.5+/-15.4, P=0.007). Of the other risk factors studied, only triglycerides were significantly associated with the echogenicity of the plaque.
Patients with type 2 diabetes have more echolucent plaques compared with nondiabetic subjects. This might be associated with the higher risk of cardiovascular events among diabetics.

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Available from: Bo Hedblad
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    • "Increasing carotid plaque echolucency has been shown to be associated with higher risk of cerebrovascular events (Mathiesen et al., 2001). The GSM of carotid plaques has been shown to be of lower values in patients with diabetes and to be inversely correlated with triglyceride levels (Ostling et al., 2007), suggesting that cardiovascular risk factors and lipid status could influence GSM, most likely by influencing plaque composition. Furthermore, in a case–control study, the GSM of carotid plaques of patients with acute coronary syndrome was shown to be lower than that of patients with stable coronary artery disease and of control subjects (Seo et al., 2006). "
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