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Endocrine Abstracts (2013) 32 P402 | DOI: 10.1530/endoabs.32.P402

1Department of Endocrinology and Internal Medicine, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark; 2MR Research Centre, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark; 3Institute of Biostatistics, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark; 4Department of Radiology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA.

Introduction: Type 2 diabetes is associated with accelerated atherosclerosis, which causes macro-vascular complications such as cerebral infarctions, myocardial infarctions, and peripheral vascular disease. We aimed to investigate whether there are differences in the morphology of atherosclerosis in the carotid arteries assessed by MRI in newly diagnosed type 2 diabetic patients compared to non-diabetic control subjects.

Methods: Hundred type 2 diabetic patients diagnosed within the last 5 years and 100 age- and gender-matched non-diabetic control subjects underwent magnetic resonance imaging of carotid arteries bilaterally in a 1.5 Tesla Phillips Intera MRI scanner with a dedicated carotid coil. Scans were performed with four different contrast weightings and analysed in a software tool to assess atherosclerosis morphology.

Results: One hundred and fifty four carotid arteries in the diabetes group and 178 carotid arteries in the control group were available for analysis. In diabetic patients the minimal lumen area was 17.6% smaller (P<0.001) and maximal normalized wall index was 3.0% higher (P=0.038) than in the control subjects. This remained significant after adjustment for LDL-cholesterol and smoking habits (minimal lumen area, P<0.001 and maximal normalized wall index, P=0.012). Sub-analysis of those measures revealed pronounced differences between diabetic patients and control subjects among the youngest 50% of the participants.

Conclusion: Clear signs of accelerated carotid atherosclerosis assessed by MRI were found at a very early stage of type 2 diabetes, despite good regulation of hyperglycemia, hyperlipidemia and blood pressure. There is an effect on the arterial wall remaining after correction of classical cardiovascular risk factors, suggesting a legacy effect.

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