Cardiovascular magnetic resonance measures of aortic stiffness in asymptomatic patients with type 2 diabetes: association with glycaemic control and clinical outcomes

Peter P. Swoboda, Bara Erhayiem, Rachel Kan, Adam K. McDiarmid, Pankaj Garg, Tarique A. Musa, Laura E. Dobson, Klaus K. Witte, Mark T. Kearney, Julian H. Barth, Ramzi Ajjan, John P. Greenwood, Sven Plein

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Background: We aimed to investigate in patients with type 2 diabetes whether aortic stiffness is: (i) associated with glycaemic control, (ii) associated with adverse outcomes and (iii) can be reversed on treatment with RAAS inhibition.

Methods: Patients with type 2 diabetes (N = 94) and low vascular risk underwent assessment of cardiovascular risk and CMR assessment of ascending aortic distensibility (AAD), descending aortic distensibility (DAD) and aortic pulse wave velocity (PWV). Of these patients a subgroup with recent onset microalbuminuria (N = 25) were treated with renin–angiotensin–aldosterone system (RAAS) inhibition and imaging repeated after 1 year. All 94 patients were followed up for 2.4 years for major adverse cardiovascular disease (CVD) events including myocardial infarction detected on late gadolinium enhancement CMR.

Results: Ascending aortic distensibility, DAD and PWV all had a significant association with age and 24 h systolic blood pressure but only AAD had a significant association with glycaemic control, measured as HbA1c (Beta − 0.016, P = 0.04). The association between HbA1c and AAD persisted even after correction for age and hypertension. CVD events occurred in 19/94 patients. AAD, but not DAD or PWV, was associated with CVD events (hazard ratio 0.49, 95% confidence interval 0.25–0.95, P = 0.01). On treatment with RAAS inhibition, AAD, but not DAD or PWV, showed significant improvement from 1.51 ± 1.15 to 1.97 ± 1.07 10−3 mmHg−1, P = 0.007.

Conclusions: Ascending aortic distensibility measured by CMR is independently associated with poor glycaemic control and adverse cardiovascular events. Furthermore it may be reversible on treatment with RAAS inhibition. AAD is a promising marker of cardiovascular risk in asymptomatic patients with type 2 diabetes and has potential use as a surrogate cardiovascular endpoint in studies of novel hypoglycaemic agents.
Original languageEnglish
Article number35
JournalCardiovascular Diabetology
Publication statusPublished - 5 Mar 2018

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