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Noninvasive measures of cardiovascular changes in diabetes mellitus.

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  • 1Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes, University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center, Aurora, Colorado 80045-6511, USA.



Advances in noninvasive medical technology have led to more aggressive pursuit of cardiovascular disease detection in patients with diabetes mellitus. Studies measuring carotid intima-media thickness, arterial stiffness and coronary artery calcification have documented early markers of cardiovascular disease. Such markers have gained popularity for research and clinical use. This paper reviews recent studies using noninvasive technology for detection and monitoring of cardiovascular disease as it pertains to diabetes patients.


Studies published in the review period have utilized noninvasive techniques to monitor subclinical cardiovascular disease in diabetes patients, including carotid intima-media thickness to evaluate carotid atherosclerosis, pulse wave velocity and pulse wave analysis to measure arterial stiffness, electron beam computed tomography to evaluate coronary artery calcification, and magnetic resonance imaging to study cardiovascular plaque. These techniques have shown promising results and will have useful application for diabetes patients in the future.


Noninvasive testing is being redefined to include new techniques for detection and monitoring of cardiovascular changes. In the appropriate clinical setting, these tests offer novel approaches to monitoring - each with its own benefits and caveats. Further refinement of techniques will lead to increased applicability and improved ability for early detection of subclinical cardiovascular disease.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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