Skin autofluorescence is associated with past glycaemic control and complications in type 1 diabetes mellitus

Diabetes Metab. 2013 Sep;39(4):349-54. doi: 10.1016/j.diabet.2013.03.003. Epub 2013 May 2.


As skin autofluorescence (AF) can assess subcutaneous accumulation of fluorescent advanced glycation end-products (AGEs), this study aimed to investigate whether it was linked to glycaemic control and complications in patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM). Using the AGE Reader™, AF was measured in T1DM patients referred to Haut-Levêque Hospital (Bordeaux, France); data on their HbA1c levels measured every 6months as far back as the last 5years were also collected. The association of AF with the patients' past glucose control, based on their latest HbA1c values, and the means of the last five and 10 HbA1c values, and with diabetic complications was also examined by linear regression analysis. The sample included 300 patients: 58% were male; the mean age was 49 (SD 17) years and the mean diabetes duration was 21 (SD 13) years. The median skin AF measurement was 2.0 [25th-75th percentiles: 1.7-2.4] arbitrary units (AU), and this was associated with age (β=0.15 per 10years, P<0.001) and diabetes duration (β=0.17 per 10years, P<0.001). After adjusting for age and estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), the skin AF measurement was also related to the means of the last five and 10 HbA1c values (β=0.10 per 1% of HbA1c, P=0.005, and β=0.13 per 1% of HbA1c, P=0.001, respectively). In addition, the skin AF was associated with retinopathy (P<0.001), albuminuria (P<0.001) and decreased eGFR (P<0.001). In conclusion, the skin AF is related to the long-term glucose control and diabetic complications.

Keywords: AGEs; AU; Advanced glycation end-products; Arbitrary units; Autofluorescence cutanée; BMI; Body mass index; Complications microvasculaires; Diabète Type 1; Estimated glomerular filtration rate; Glycated haemoglobin; HbA(1c); Microvascular complications; Produits de glycation avancée; Skin autofluorescence; T1DM; T2DM; Type 1 diabetes; Type 1 diabetes mellitus; Type 2 diabetes mellitus; eGFR.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / complications*
  • Diabetic Angiopathies / diagnosis*
  • Diabetic Angiopathies / metabolism
  • Female
  • Fluorescence
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A / analysis
  • Glycation End Products, Advanced / analysis*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Skin / chemistry
  • Skin / metabolism*


  • Blood Glucose
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • Glycation End Products, Advanced
  • hemoglobin A1c protein, human