Femoral artery wall thickness and stiffness in evaluation of peripheral vascular disease in type 2 diabetes mellitus

Atherosclerosis. 2001 Sep;158(1):207-14. doi: 10.1016/s0021-9150(01)00414-2.


Stiffening and thickening of arterial wall are two important components of atherosclerosis. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of femoral artery wall stiffness on clinical manifestation of peripheral vascular disease (PVD) in type 2 diabetes mellitus. The subjects were 315 patients with type 2 diabetes. Presence of intermittent claudication and/or leg pain at rest and reduced ankle-brachial blood pressure index (ABI<0.9) were used as a subjective and an objective index of PVD, respectively. Femoral artery intima-media thickness (FA-IMT) and stiffness parameter beta (FA-stiffness beta) were measured by ultrasound methods. Symptomatic patients (N=58) showed greater values for both FA-IMT and FA-stiffness beta than those without symptom (N=257). Similarly, patients with reduced ABI (N=56) had greater FA-IMT and FA-stiffness beta than those without (N=259). However, correlation between FA-IMT and FA-stiffness beta was not impressive, especially in the symptomatic patients. To evaluate the effect of FA-stiffness beta on PVD symptoms, the subjects were divided into three subgroups according to FA-IMT, and then FA-stiffness beta was compared between those with and without PVD symptoms in each subgroup. The symptomatic patients had greater FA-stiffness beta values than the asymptomatic subjects in all the three subgroups. Multiple logistic regression analysis indicated that the presence of PVD symptoms was associated more closely with increased FA-stiffness beta than with increased FA-IMT, whereas reduced ABI was associated more closely with FA-IMT than with FA-stiffness beta. These data suggest that stiffening of arterial wall has a significant impact on PVD manifestations, particularly on the leg symptoms, in patients with type 2 diabetes.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / pathology*
  • Diabetic Angiopathies / diagnosis*
  • Diabetic Angiopathies / diagnostic imaging
  • Diabetic Angiopathies / pathology
  • Diabetic Angiopathies / physiopathology
  • Elasticity
  • Female
  • Femoral Artery / diagnostic imaging
  • Femoral Artery / pathology*
  • Femoral Artery / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Tunica Intima / pathology
  • Tunica Intima / physiopathology
  • Tunica Media / pathology
  • Tunica Media / physiopathology
  • Ultrasonography