Skin Autofluorescence is Associated with Early-stage Atherosclerosis in Patients with Type 1 Diabetes

J Atheroscler Thromb. 2017 Mar 1;24(3):312-326. doi: 10.5551/jat.35592. Epub 2016 Sep 2.


Aim: Accumulation level of fluorescent advanced glycation end products (AGEs) in the skin can be measured non-invasively as skin autofluorescence (skin AF) by autofluorescence reader. The aim of this study was to assess possible associations between skin AF and diabetic complications, especially early-stage atherosclerosis, in Japanese type 1 diabetic patients.

Methods: Skin AF was measured by AGE reader® in 105 Japanese type 1 diabetic patients (34 men and 71 women, aged 37.4±12.4 years (±SD)) and 23 age-matched healthy non-diabetic subjects. Ultrasonic carotid intima-media thickness (IMT), ankle-brachial index (ABI), and brachial ankle pulse wave velocity (baPWV) were evaluated as indices of early-stage diabetic macroangiopathy. Urinary albumin-to-creatinine ratio (UACR), the coefficient of variation of R-R intervals (CVR-R), and presence of retinopathy were also evaluated.

Results: Skin AF values were significantly higher in type 1 diabetic patients than in healthy controls (2.07±0.50 (mean±SD) and 1.90±0.26, respectively, p=0.024). Skin AF was associated with carotid IMT (r=0.446, p<0.001) and baPWV (r=0.450, p<0.001), but not with ABI (r=-0.019, p=0.8488). Notably, skin AF was an independent risk factor for IMT thickening. Similarly, skin AF was associated with log (UACR) (r=0.194, p=0.049) and was an independent risk factor for UACR. Furthermore, skin AF values were significantly higher in patients with diabetic retinopathy than in those without (2.21±0.08 and 1.97±0.06, respectively, p=0.020).

Conclusions: Skin AF was significantly associated with the presence and/or severity of diabetic complications and was an independent risk factor for carotid atherosclerosis.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Atherosclerosis / diagnosis*
  • Atherosclerosis / etiology
  • Atherosclerosis / metabolism
  • Carotid Intima-Media Thickness
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / complications*
  • Diabetic Angiopathies / diagnosis*
  • Diabetic Angiopathies / etiology
  • Diabetic Angiopathies / metabolism
  • Female
  • Glycation End Products, Advanced / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Risk Factors
  • Skin / metabolism
  • Skin / pathology*


  • Glycation End Products, Advanced