Non-invasive measures of tissue autofluorescence are increased in Type 1 diabetes complications and correlate with a non-invasive measure of vascular dysfunction

A S Januszewski, N Sachithanandan, C Karschimkus, D N O'Neal, C K Yeung, N Alkatib, A J Jenkins
Diabetic Medicine: a Journal of the British Diabetic Association 2012, 29 (6): 726-33

OBJECTIVE: To determine if ocular and skin autofluorescence, reflecting advanced glycation end-products, and vascular stiffness correlate in non-diabetic and Type 1 diabetic subjects and if levels differ by diabetes status.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: Patients with Type 1 diabetes (n = 69, 19 with and 50 without vascular complications) and 60 subjects without diabetes (control) had ocular and skin autofluorescence and pulse-wave analysis performed in the fasted state. Correlations between measures within groups used the Pearson or Spearman correlation-coefficient and measures between groups were compared by ANOVA.

RESULTS: Lens and skin autofluorescence correlated in control (r = 0.58, P = 0.0001) and in Type 1 diabetes (r = 0.53, P = 0.001). Corneal autofluorescence correlated with lens (r = 0.53, r = 0.52, P = 0.0001) and skin autofluorescence (r = 0.34, P = 0.01 and r = 0.49, P = 0.00001) in control and Type 1 diabetes respectively. In Type 1 diabetes, small and large artery elasticity correlated inversely and systemic vascular resistance correlated positively with skin autofluorescence (all P = 0.001), and with lens and corneal autofluorescence (all P < 0.03). In Type 1 diabetes tissue advanced glycation end-products correlated with C-reactive protein and inversely with the estimated glucose disposal rate and with circulating advanced glycation end-product levels. Relative to non-diabetic subjects, lens, corneal and skin fluorescence were increased (all P < 0.001) and small artery elasticity was decreased in diabetes (P = 0.04). Lens, corneal and skin autofluorescence were greater (all P = 0.0001) in patients with Type 1 diabetes with complications compared to those without complications, but small artery elasticity did not differ significantly.

CONCLUSIONS: Ocular and skin autofluorescence and vascular stiffness correlate in non-diabetic and Type 1 diabetes subjects and are increased in Type 1 diabetes. Tissue advanced glycation end-products correlate with vascular risk factors, including circulating advanced glycation end-products.

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