Non-invasive, Complex Examination of Micro- and Macrovascular System of Patients with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus with or Without Vascular Complications

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Objective: We examined the vascular system, from the microvasculature to the aorta, in diabetes mellitus, using non-invasive methods.

Methods: We enrolled patients with type 1 diabetes: 17 patients without complications (DMW) and 19 patients with clinically manifest complications (DMC). Control group was represented by 34 healthy volunteers (C). We examined microvascular function with laser-Doppler flowmetry, using post-occlusive reactive hyperemia test and local heating. Arterial stiffness was studied by arteriograph, determining augmentation index and pulse wave velocity. We measured serum levels of sE-selectin and sICAM-1, markers of endothelial dysfunction.

Results: Microvascular reactivity was significantly reduced in DMC-, and tendentiously in DMW groups. sE-selectin level was significantly higher in DMC group than in controls. Arterial stiffness was the highest in the DMC group and the lowest in the DMW group. Heart rate was significantly higher in both diabetic groups compared to controls. Time to maximum flow during PORH test tended to be the shortest in DMW group.

Conclusions: Our results confirm impairment of the microvascular system in diabetic patients, even in early, uncomplicated stage of the disease, and might demonstrate diffuse hyperkinesis in the vascular system, resulting from the insulin effect or refering to the “vasodilation phase” of diabetes mellitus.

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