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J Atheroscler Thromb. 2019 Mar 6. doi: 10.5551/jat.47498. [Epub ahead of print]

Skin Autofluorescence Measurement in Subclinical Atheromatous Disease: Results from the ILERVAS Project.

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Endocrinology and Nutrition Department. University Hospital Arnau de Vilanova. Obesity, Diabetes and Metabolism (ODIM) research group. IRBLleida. University of Lleida.
Unit for the Detection and Treatment of Atherothrombotic Diseases (UDETMA V&R). University Hospital Arnau de Vilanova.
Stroke Unit. University Hospital Arnau de Vilanova. Clinical Neurosciences Group. IRBLleida. University of Lleida.
Respiratory Department. University Hospital Arnau de Vilanova-Santa María. Translational Research in Respiratory Medicine.
Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Enfermedades Respiratorias (CIBERES), Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII).
Department of Experimental Medicine. IRBLleida. University of Lleida.
Borges Blanques Primary Health Care Unit.
Laboratory of Biochemistry, LR12ES05, Faculty of Medicine, University of Monastir.
Endocrinology and Nutrition Department, University Hospital Vall d'Hebron. Diabetes and Metabolism Research Unit, Vall d'Hebron Institut de Recerca (VHIR). Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.
Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Diabetes y Enfermedades Metabólicas Asociadas (CIBERDEM), Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII).



Advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) have been involved in the atherogenic process in the high-risk population. The goal of this study was to demonstrate that AGEs are related to subclinical atheromatous disease in subjects with low to moderate vascular risk.


A cross-sectional study in which 2,568 non-diabetic subjects of both sexes without cardiovascular disease were included. Subcutaneous content of AGEs was assessed by skin autofluorescence (SAF) and subclinical atheromatous disease was measured by assessing the atheromatous plaque burden in carotid and femoral regions using ultrasonography. In addition, serum pentosidine, carboxymethyl-lysine (CML) and AGE receptors (RAGE) were assessed in a nested case-control study with 41 subjects without plaque and 41 individuals subjects with generalized disease.


Patients with atheromatous plaque had a higher SAF than those with no plaque (1.9 [1.7 to 2.3] vs. 1.8 [1.6 to 2.1] arbitrary units (AU), p<0.001). The SAF correlated with the total number of affected regions (r= 0.171, p<0.001), increasing progressively from 1.8 [1.6 to 2.1] AU in those without atheromatous disease to 2.3 [1.9 to 2.7] AU in patients with ≥ 8 plaques (p<0.001). A correlation was also observed between SAF and the total plaque area (r=0.113, p<0.001). The area under the Receiver Operating Characteristic curve was 0.65 (0.61 to 0.68) for identifying male subjects with atheromatous disease. The multivariable logistic regression model showed a significant and independent association between SAF and the presence of atheromatous disease. However, no significant differences in serum pentosidine, CML, and RAGE were observed.


Increased subcutaneous content of AGEs is associated with augmented atheromatous plaque burden. Our results suggest that SAF may provide clinically relevant information to the current strategies for the evaluation of cardiovascular risk, especially among the male population.


Advanced glycation end-products; Atheromatous plaque burden; Cardiovascular risk; Skin autofluorescence

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