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1.  NT-proBNP, echocardiographic abnormalities and subclinical coronary artery disease in high risk type 2 diabetic patients 
Background
Intensive multifactorial treatment aimed at prevention of cardiovascular (CV) disease may reduce left ventricular (LV) echocardiographic abnormalities in diabetic subjects. Plasma N-terminal (NT)-proBNP predicts CV mortality in diabetic patients but the association between P-NT-proBNP and the putative residual abnormalities in such patients are not well described. This study examined echocardiographic measurements of LV hypertrophy, atrial dilatation and LV dysfunction and their relation to P-NT-proBNP levels or subclinical coronary artery disease (CAD) in type 2 diabetic patients with microalbuminuria receiving intensive multifactorial treatment.
Methods
Echocardiography including tissue Doppler imaging and P-NT-proBNP measurements were performed in 200 patients without prior CAD. Patients with P-NT-proBNP > 45.2 ng/L and/or coronary calcium score ≥ 400 were stratified as high risk patients for CAD(n = 133) and examined for significant CAD by myocardial perfusion imaging and/or CT-angiography and/or coronary angiography.
Results
LV mass index was 41.2 ± 10.9 g/m2.7 and 48 (24%) patients had LV hypertrophy. LA and RA dilatation were found in 54(27%) and 45(23%) patients, respectively, and LV diastolic dysfunction was found in 109(55%) patients. Patients with increased P-NT-proBNP levels did not have more major echocardiographic abnormalities. In 70(53%) of 133 high risk patients significant CAD was demonstrated and patients with LV hypertrophy had increased risk of significant CAD(adjusted odd ratio[CI] was 4.53[1.14-18.06]).
Conclusion
Among asymptomatic type 2 diabetic patients with microalbuminuria that received intensive multifactorial treatment, P-NT-proBNP levels is not associated with echocardiographic abnormalities. LV diastolic dysfunction was frequently observed, whereas LV hypertrophy was less frequent but associated with significant CAD.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-11-19
PMCID: PMC3310741  PMID: 22390472
2.  NT-proBNP levels, atherosclerosis and vascular function in asymptomatic type 2 diabetic patients with microalbuminuria: peripheral reactive hyperaemia index but not NT-proBNP is an independent predictor of coronary atherosclerosis 
Intensive multifactorial treatment aimed at cardiovascular (CV) risk factor reduction in type 2 diabetic patients with microalbuminuria can diminish fatal and non-fatal CV. Plasma N-terminal (NT)-proBNP predicts CV mortality in diabetic patients but the utility of P-NT-proBNP in screening for atherosclerosis is unclear. We examined the interrelationship between P-NT-proBNP, presence of atherosclerosis and/or vascular dysfunction in the coronary, carotid and peripheral arteries in asymptomatic type 2 diabetic patients with microalbuminuria that received intensive multifactorial treatment.
Methods and Results
P-NT-proBNP was measured in 200 asymptomatic type 2 patients without known cardiac disease that received intensive multifactorial treatment for CV risk reduction. Patients were examined for coronary, carotid and peripheral atherosclerosis, as defined by coronary calcium score ≥400, carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT) > 0.90 mm, ankle-brachial index < 0.90, and/or toe-brachial index < 0.64, respectively. Carotid artery compliance was also determined and the reactive hyperaemia index (RHI) measured by peripheral artery tonometry was used as a surrogate for endothelial function.
P-NT-proBNP was associated with atherosclerosis in the unadjusted analysis, but not after adjustment for conventional risk factors. P-NT-proBNP was not associated with vascular dysfunction. The prevalence of atherosclerosis in the coronary, carotid and peripheral arteries was 35%, 10% and 21% of all patients, respectively. In total 49% had atherosclerosis in one territory and 15.6% and 1.0% in two and three territories. Low RHI was an independent predictor of coronary atherosclerosis (odds ratio [CI], 2.60 [1.15-5.88] and systolic blood pressure was the only independent determinant of CIMT (0.02 mm increase in CIMT per 10 mmHg increase in systolic blood pressure [p = 0.003]).
Conclusions
Half of asymptomatic patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus and microalbuminuria had significant atherosclerosis in at least one vascular territory despite receiving intensive multifactorial treatment for CV risk reduction. Coronary atherosclerosis was most prevalent, whereas carotid disease was more rarely observed. RHI but not plasma NT-proBNP was predictive of coronary atherosclerosis.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-10-71
PMCID: PMC3164620  PMID: 21812947
3.  Osteoprotegerin and coronary artery disease in type 2 diabetic patients with microalbuminuria 
Objective
Plasma osteoprotegerin (P-OPG) is an independent predictor of cardiovascular disease in diabetic and other populations. OPG is a bone-related glycopeptide produced by vascular smooth muscle cells and increased P-OPG may reflect arterial damage. We investigated the correlation between P-OPG and coronary artery disease (CAD) in asymptomatic type 2 diabetic patients with microalbuminuria.
Methods
P-OPG was measured in 200 asymptomatic diabetic patients without known cardiac disease. Patients with P-NT-proBNP >45.2 ng/l and/or coronary calcium score (CCS) ≥400 were stratified as high risk of CAD (n = 133), and all other patients as low risk patients (n = 67). High risk patients were examined by myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI; n = 109), and/or CT-angiography (n = 20), and/or coronary angiography (CAG; n = 86). Significant CAD was defined by presence of significant myocardial perfusion defects at MPI and/or >70% coronary artery stenosis at CAG.
Results
Significant CAD was demonstrated in 70 of the high risk patients and of these 23 patients had >70% coronary artery stenosis at CAG. Among high risk patients, increased P-OPG was an independent predictor of significant CAD (adjusted odds ratio [CI] 3.11 [1.01-19.54] and 3.03 [1.00-9.18] for second and third tertile vs.first tertile P-OPG, respectively) and remained so after adjustments for NT-proBNP and CCS. High P-OPG was also associated with presence of >70% coronary artery stenosis(adjusted odds ratio 14.20 [1.35-148.92] for third vs. first tertile P-OPG), and 91% of patients with low (first tertile) P-OPG did not have >70% coronary artery stenosis.
Conclusions
Elevated P-OPG is an independent predictor of the presence of CAD in asymptomatic type 2 diabetic patients with microalbuminuria.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-10-70
PMCID: PMC3162489  PMID: 21801376
4.  Carotid intima-media thickness in individuals with and without type 2 diabetes: a reproducibility study 
Background
The use of carotid intima-media thickness (carotid IMT) as a surrogate marker of cardiovascular disease is increasing and the method has now also been applied in several trials investigating patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D). Even though knowledge about methodology is of highest importance in order to make accurate power calculations and analyses of results, no reproducibility studies have been performed in this group of patients. The aim of this study was to quantify the variability of the measurement of carotid IMT in individuals with and without T2D.
Methods
We used B-mode ultrasound and a computerized software programme (MIA vascular tools) for analysis of carotid IMT. Measurement of carotid IMT in the far wall of the common carotid artery (CCA) was done for 30 patients with T2D and 30 persons without T2D. The examinations were done by two different sonographers and two different readers on two separate days in order to quantify sonographer-, reader-, and day-to-day variability.
Results
Comparisons of measurement of carotid IMT in CCA between sonographers (sonographer variability) resulted in limits of agreement (LoA) from -0.18 to 0.13 mm for patients with T2D and -0.12 to 0.10 mm for persons without T2D. This means, that a second scanning of the same person with 95% probability would be within this interval of the first scanning. Comparisons between readers assessing the same scanning (reader variability) resulted in LoA from -0.05 to 0.07 mm and -0.04 to 0.05 mm respectively. LoA of the day-to-day variability was -0.13 to 0.18 mm and -0.09 to 0.18 mm respectively. This corresponds to coefficients of variations (CV) of the sonographer- and day-to-day variability of 10% in patients with T2D and 8% in persons without T2D. The CV of the reader variability was 4% and 3% respectively.
Conclusion
Measurement of carotid IMT in the CCA can be determined with good and comparable reproducibility in both patients with T2D and persons without T2D. These findings support the use of carotid IMT in clinical trials with T2D patients and suggest that the numbers of patients needed to detect a given difference will be the same whether the patients have T2D or not.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-9-40
PMCID: PMC2931499  PMID: 20727128

Results 1-4 (4)