Reduced forearm reactive hyperaemia in normoalbuminuric subjects with Type 1 diabetes and retinopathy

Diabet Med. 2004 Aug;21(8):931-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1464-5491.2004.01203.x.


Aim: To determine whether the forearm vasodilatory response to reactive hyperaemia (RH) is reduced in normoalbuminuric subjects with Type 1 diabetes mellitus and retinopathy compared with subjects with no retinopathy.

Methods: Forearm RH, an indicator of endothelial function, was measured, using strain-gauge plethysmography, in 39 normoalbuminuric subjects (22 with retinopathy) with long-standing Type 1 diabetes mellitus.

Results: were evaluated in relation to conventional risk factors for atherosclerosis, and C-reactive protein (CRP), which we have recently determined to be an independent correlate of forearm RH.

Results: Forearm RH was decreased in subjects with retinopathy compared with those with no retinopathy (219 +/- 182 vs. 473 +/- 355, P < 0.01). Both retinopathy and CRP proved to be independent and negative predictors, and explain 27% of the variance, in forearm RH.

Conclusion: Retinopathy in subjects with Type 1 diabetes mellitus may reflect a generalized process of endothelial dysfunction, even in the absence of microalbuminuria.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Albuminuria / blood*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / blood*
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / blood*
  • Female
  • Forearm / blood supply*
  • Humans
  • Hyperemia / etiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sex Factors