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JACC Cardiovasc Interv. 2012 Nov;5(11):1150-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jcin.2012.06.019.

Comparison of nonculprit coronary plaque characteristics between patients with and without diabetes: a 3-vessel optical coherence tomography study.

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Cardiology Division, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02114, USA.



The aim of the present study was to compare the characteristics of nonculprit coronary plaques between diabetes mellitus (DM) and non-DM patients using 3-vessel optical coherence tomography (OCT) imaging.


DM patients have a higher recurrent cardiovascular event rate.


Patients who had undergone 3-vessel OCT imaging were identified from the Massachusetts General Hospital OCT Registry. Characteristics of nonculprit plaques were compared between DM and non-DM patients.


A total of 230 nonculprit plaques were identified in 98 patients. Compared with non-DM patients, DM patients had a larger lipid index (LI) (averaged lipid arc × lipid length; 778.6 ± 596.1 vs. 1358.3 ± 939.2, p < 0.001) and higher prevalence of calcification (48.4% vs. 72.2%, p = 0.034) and thrombus (0% vs. 8.3%, p = 0.047). DM patients were divided into 2 groups based on glycated hemoglobin (A(1C)) levels of ≤7.9% and ≥8.0%. LI was significantly correlated with diabetic status (778.6 ± 596.1 [non-DM] vs. 1,171.5 ± 708.1 [A(1C) ≤7.9%] vs. 1,638.5 ± 1,173.8 [A(1C) ≥8%], p value for linear trend = 0.005), and fibrous cap thickness was inversely correlated with the A(1C) level (99.4 ± 46.7 μm [non-DM] vs. 91.7 ± 29.6 μm [A(1C) ≤7.9%] vs. 72.9 ± 22.7 μm [A(1C) ≥8%], p value for linear trend = 0.014). Patients with A(1C) ≥8% also had the highest prevalence of thin-cap fibroatheroma (TCFA) and macrophage infiltration.


Compared with non-DM patients, DM patients have a larger LI and a higher prevalence of calcification and thrombus. The LI was larger and TCFA and macrophage infiltration were frequent in patients with A(1C) ≥8%.

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