Diabetes-associated macrovasculopathy: pathophysiology and pathogenesis

Diabetes Obes Metab. 2007 Nov;9(6):767-80. doi: 10.1111/j.1463-1326.2006.00655.x.


The complications associated with diabetic vasculopathy are commonly grouped into two categories: microvascular and macrovascular complications. In diabetes, macrovascular disease is the commonest cause of mortality and morbidity and is responsible for high incidence of vascular diseases such as stroke, myocardial infarction and peripheral vascular diseases. Macrovascular diseases are traditionally thought of as due to underlying obstructive atherosclerotic diseases affecting major arteries. Pathological changes of major blood vessels leading to functional and structural abnormalities in diabetic vessels include endothelial dysfunction, reduced vascular compliance and atherosclerosis. Besides, advanced glycation end product formation interacts with specific receptors that lead to overexpression of a range of cytokines. Haemodynamic pathways are activated in diabetes and are possibly amplified by concomitant systemic hypertension. Apart from these, hyperglycaemia, non-enzymatic glycosylation, lipid modulation, alteration of vasculature and growth factors activation contribute to development of diabetic vasculopathy. This review focuses on pathophysiology and pathogenesis of diabetes-associated macrovasculopathy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Blood Vessels / pathology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / etiology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / pathology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / therapy
  • Diabetic Angiopathies / etiology*
  • Diabetic Angiopathies / pathology
  • Diabetic Angiopathies / therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insulin Resistance / physiology
  • Male