In diabetic patients, a number of studies have suggested an impairment of vascular reactivity in response to vasodilatory stimuli. The pattern of dysregulation at the coronary microcirculatory level, however, has not been clearly defined. Thus, it was the aim of this study to characterise coronary microvascular function non-invasively in a homogeneous group of asymptomatic type 2 diabetic patients. In 46 patients with type 2 diabetes, myocardial blood flow (MBF) was quantified at baseline, in response to cold pressor test (CPT) and during adenosine-mediated vasodilation using positron emission tomography and nitrogen-13 ammonia. None of the patients had been treated with insulin, and none had symptoms of cardiac disease. Decreased MBF during CPT, indicating microvascular dysregulation, was observed in 16 patients (CPT-), while 30 patients demonstrated increased MBF during CPT (CPT+). Response to CPT was mildly, but significantly correlated with response to adenosine (r=0.44, P=0.0035). There was no difference in HbA1c, serum lipid levels or serum endothelial markers between the groups. Microvascular dysregulation in the CPT- group was associated with elevated baseline MBF (P<0.0001), reduced baseline vascular resistance (P=0.0026) and an abnormal increase in resistance during CPT (P=0.0002). In conclusion, coronary microvascular dysregulation is present in approximately one-third of asymptomatic, non-insulin-treated type 2 diabetic patients. Elevated baseline blood flow and reduced microvascular resistance at rest are characteristics of this dysregulation. These data suggest a state of activation of endothelial-dependent vasodilation at baseline which appears to limit the flow response to stress conditions.
- Blood flow
- Diabetes mellitus
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging