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Diabetes Care. 2013 Jun;36(6):1720-5. doi: 10.2337/dc12-1401. Epub 2013 Feb 12.

Transcutaneous oxygen tension as a potential predictor of cardiovascular events in type 2 diabetes: comparison with ankle-brachial index.

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  • 1Internal Medicine, Diabetes, Vascular and Endocrine-Metabolic Diseases Unit and the Centre for Applied Clinical Research, Clinical Institute Beato Matteo, Vigevano, Italy.



Transcutaneous oxygen tension (TcPO2) measures tissue perfusion and is important in the management of peripheral artery disease (PAD). Ankle brachial index (ABI) is used for the diagnosis of PAD and represents a predictor of major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE), even if in diabetes its diagnostic and predictive value seems to be reduced. No study has evaluated TcPO2 as a predictor of cardiovascular events. Aim of this longitudinal study was to assess whether TcPO2 is better than ABI at predicting MACE in type 2 diabetic patients.


Among 361 consecutive patients with apparently uncomplicated diabetes, 67 MACE occurred during a follow-up period of 45.8 ± 23.2 months.


The percentage of both subjects with low ABI (≤ 0.9) and subjects with low TcPO2 (≤ 46 mmHg as measured by a receiver operating characteristic curve) was significantly (<0.001) greater among patients with than among those without MACEs (ABI 64.2 vs. 40.8; TcPO2 58.2 vs. 34%). The Kaplan-Meier method showed that both low ABI (Mantel log-rank test, 4.087; P = 0.043) and low TcPO2 (Mantel log-rank test, 33.748; P > 0.0001) were associated with a higher rate of MACEs. Cox regression analysis showed that low TcPO2 (hazard ratio 1.78 [95% CI 1.44-2.23]; P < 0.001) was a significant predictor of MACE, while ABI did not enter the model.


This longitudinal study showed that TcPO2 may be a potential predictor of MACE among patients with uncomplicated type 2 diabetes and that its predictive value seems to be greater than that of ABI.

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