Background: The aim of the present study was to investigate the serum levels of endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) in type 2 diabetic patients without documented ischemic disease and the association between EPCs and atherosclerotic plaque formation in the carotid artery. Methods and Results: A clinic-based, prospective study of type 2 diabetic patients was conducted. A total of 73 subjects were enrolled in this study after cardiac magnetic resonance imaging and ankle-brachial index measurements to exclude patients with ischemic disease. Plaque formation in the carotid artery was measured on ultrasonography. Circulating EPCs (CD34+/CD133+/CD309+ cells) were counted on flow cytometry. Compared to subjects without carotid artery plaques, patients with plaques were significantly older (P=0.006) and had decreased EPC count (P=0.027). Serum glycated albumin (GA) level and the GA/glycated hemoglobin ratio tended to decrease in patients with plaques (P=0.091 and 0.067, respectively). Other cardiovascular disease risk factors were not significantly different between the 2 groups. On binary logistic regression analysis old age, low EPC count, and high serum GA level were independently correlated with carotid artery plaque formation. Conclusions: EPC count and serum GA level appear to be a protective and an aggravating factor for endothelial damage, respectively, and therefore, a reduced EPC count or an increased GA level results in atherosclerotic plaque formation in type 2 diabetic patients.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine