Lower extremity arterial disease (LEAD) is often one of the first signs of a generalized atherosclerotic disease in type 1 and type 2 diabetic subjects.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
We studied 143 diabetic subjects at 30-70 years of age, M/F 69/74, 74 with type 1 and 69 with type 2 diabetes, without previously known or suspected lower extremity arterial disease. The relationship between early asymptomatic lower extremity arterial disease and blood levels of HbA1c, lipids and fibrinolysis markers (tPA-activity, tPA mass, PAI-1 activity, tPA-PAI-1 complex) was assessed. In parallel, a group with non-diabetic subjects (n=80) was studied.
35 (24%) diabetic subjects were classified as having sign(s) of LEAD, defined as having at least one reduced peripheral blood pressure measurement, 28% in type 1 vs 20% in type 2 diabetic subjects (p=NS). In univariate logistic regression analyses age, glycemic level (HbA1c), male gender (only in type 1 diabetic subjects), hypertension and tPA activity (only in type 2 diabetic subjects) were positively associated with LEAD. When markers of fibrinolysis were entered into a multivariate model adjusting for age, hypertension, and HbA1c, only tPA activity remained independently associated with LEAD (p=0.01) and this was also found in type 2 diabetic subjects (p=0.05). In type 1 diabetic subjects the increase in odds ratio was non-significant.
Tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) activity may be an independent and early marker for asymptomatic lower extremity arterial disease in diabetic subjects, particularly in type 2 diabetes. Thus an altered fibrinolytic activity could be an early marker of atherosclerosis development in the lower extremities but the cause-effect relationship remains unclear.
2009. Vol. 123, no 5, 701-706 p.