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Cerebrovascular disease
Endothelial and inflammatory markers in relation to progression of ischaemic cerebral small-vessel disease and cognitive impairment: a 6-year longitudinal study in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus


Background Progression of silent brain infarctions (SBIs) and white-matter lesions (WMLs) seen on brain MRI is associated with an increased risk of cognitive impairment, but their relation to endothelial and inflammatory markers is unknown in type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Methods In 190 type 2 diabetic outpatients (mean age 62.7 years), the authors related baseline levels of soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (sICAM-1) and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) to subsequent brain MRI findings and cognitive function. The authors assessed incident SBIs and changes in periventricular and subcortical WMLs (PVWMLs and SCWMLs) on MRI performed at baseline and 3 and 6 years. Neuropsychological tests were administered to 83 patients older than 65 years at 6 years. This present study represents an extension of the authors' previously published study.

Results SBIs were observed in 46 patients (24.2%), PVWMLs in 93 (48.9%) and SCWMLs in 87 (45.8%) on baseline MRI. After adjustment for age, gender, hypertension, duration of diabetes, baseline MRI findings and medication use, the relative odds associated with a 1SD increase in sICAM-1 levels at baseline were 1.67 (95% CI 1.02 to 3.05) for SBI progression and 2.17 (95% CI 1.29 to 3.62) for PVWML progression at 6 years. In contrast, baseline hs-CRP levels were significantly associated with SBI progression only at 3 years. Significant trends were observed between quartiles of sICAM-1 at baseline and scores in Digit Symbol substitution (p for trend=0.01).

Conclusions The findings suggest that higher sICAM-1 levels are associated with SBI and PVWML progression, and may predict impairment in psychomotor function in type 2 diabetes.

  • Small-vessel disease
  • soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1
  • high sensitivity C reactive protein
  • diabetes mellitus
  • cognitive impairment
  • cerebrovascular disease
  • MRI
  • vascular dementia

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