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.
Copyright 2004 Diabetes UK