Reduced systemic arterial compliance measured by routine Doppler echocardiography: a new and independent predictor of mortality in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus

Atherosclerosis. 2012 Dec;225(2):353-8. doi: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2012.09.025. Epub 2012 Sep 29.


Objectives: This study was designed to examine the prognostic value of systemic arterial compliance (SAC) by Doppler-echocardiography in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2D).

Background: Reduced SAC has been shown to predict outcomes in patients with hypertension. T2D is associated with accelerated arterial stiffening and increased cardiovascular events. We hypothesized that SAC measured by Doppler-echocardiography would independently predict mortality in patients with T2D.

Methods: Since 2001, SAC calculated as the ratio of stroke volume index to arterial pulse pressure by sphygmomanometer is routinely performed in our laboratory. Data from 505 consecutive patients with T2D were retrospectively analyzed. Based on a previously validated cut-off value of SAC < 0.6 ml/m(2)/mmHg, patients were divided into Group 1, reduced SAC, 255 patients (50%) and Group 2, preserved SAC, 250 patients (50%). The primary endpoint was overall mortality.

Results: Patients with reduced SAC had significantly lower 5-year survival than those with preserved SAC (66 ± 5 vs. 82 ± 5%, p = 0.02) and a 1.57-fold (95% CI: 1.04-2.43; p = 0.03) increased risk of mortality after adjusting for other risk factors. Blood pressure did not predict mortality and pseudo-normalized blood pressures related to LV dysfunction and low cardiac output were found in 75 patients (15%).

Conclusion: Reduced SAC is encountered frequently in T2D, is an independent predictor of mortality and allows identification of patients who, despite a normal blood pressure, are at increased risk. Future studies are necessary to further evaluate the clinical utility of this simple echocardiographic parameter and therapies are needed to alter vascular stiffness to improve clinical outcomes in these high-risk patients.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Arterial Pressure
  • Blood Pressure Determination / instrumentation
  • Cardiac Output
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Compliance
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / diagnostic imaging*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / mortality*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / physiopathology
  • Echocardiography, Doppler*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / diagnostic imaging
  • Hypertension / mortality
  • Hypertension / physiopathology
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Sphygmomanometers
  • Time Factors
  • Vascular Stiffness*
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Left / diagnostic imaging
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Left / mortality
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Left / physiopathology
  • Ventricular Function, Left