Aim: The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between atherosclerotic manifestations and brachial and radial arterial wall elasticity (AWE) measured using the phased tracking method in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM).
Methods: This study included T2DM patients (n= 220, mean age 59 years) without a history of stroke or coronary artery disease. The brachial AWE, radial AWE, carotid mean intima-media thickness (IMT), max-IMT and flow-mediated vasodilation (FMD) were measured. The patients were classified according to the number of atherosclerotic risk factors, including obesity, dyslipidemia and hypertension. Group 1 included T2DM patients only, group 2 included patients with two risk factors, group 3 included patients with three risk factors and group 4 included patients with four risk factors. The patients were also divided into two groups according to microangiopathic complications, including retinopathy and nephropathy. The between-group differences were analyzed.
Results: The brachial AWE (548, 697, 755 and 771 kPa for groups 1, 2, 3 and 4, respectively) and radial AWE (532, 637, 717 and 782 kPa for groups 1, 2, 3 and 4, respectively) significantly increased in association with an increasing number of risk factors. The brachial AWE and radial AWE were significantly higher in the patients with microangiopathic complications than in those without microangiopathic complications (brachial AWE 797 and 694 kPa and radial AWE 780 and 660 kPa, respectively). Receiver operating characteristic curve analyses revealed that, for brachial AWE and radial AWE, the area under the curve was equal to the max-IMT and higher than the mean-IMT and FMD.
Conclusions: Upper limb AWE measurement can reflect the degree of atherosclerosis risk overload and may be useful for evaluating vascular complications in T2DM patients.