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Heart. 2008 Apr;94(4):429-33. Epub 2007 Jul 23.

Plaque characterisation by Virtual Histology intravascular ultrasound analysis in patients with type 2 diabetes.

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  • 1Department of Cardiology, Toyohashi Heart Center, 21-1, Gobudori, Oyama, Toyohashi, Aichi, 441-8530 Japan. nasu@heart-center.or.jp



To evaluate the in-vivo plaque composition and characteristics in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) using Virtual Histology intravascular ultrasound (VH IVUS).


In 90 patients with stable angina pectoris, de novo target vessels were studied and plaque components were analysed. Patients were divided into two groups: a diabetic group (36 vessels) and a non-diabetic group (54 vessels).


The percentage area of necrotic core and dense calcium were significantly larger in the DM group than the non-DM group (necrotic core: 11.0% (interquartile range (IQR): 7.2-15.2%) vs 7.6% (IQR 5.6-13.2%), p = 0.03; dense calcium: 5.6% (IQR: 2.3-7.3%) vs 2.9% (IQR: 1.7-4.9%), p = 0.01). The DM group presented with a significantly higher presence of at least one VH IVUS-derived thin-cap fibroatheroma (VHD-TCFA) (75% vs 41%, p = 0.001) and VH IVUS-derived fibrocalcific atheroma (VHD-FCA) (75% vs 40%, p = 0.001). In the DM group, 53% of the vessels had both VHD-TCFA and VHD-FCA, which was significantly higher than non-DM group (17%, p = 0.0004).


Coronary plaque characteristics in DM patients showed an increased amount of dense calcium and necrotic core, as well as a higher frequency of VHD-TCFA and VHD-FCA. Atherosclerosis of the target vessel was more advanced in diabetic patients.

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