Impaired microvascular function related to poor metabolic control in young patients with diabetes.

Research paper by Helena H Golster, Lars L Hyllienmark, Torbjörn T Ledin, Johnny J Ludvigsson, Folke F Sjöberg

Indexed on: 24 Feb '05Published on: 24 Feb '05Published in: Clinical Physiology and Functional Imaging


The purpose of the present study was to identify whether young patients with type 1 diabetes using modern multiple insulin injection therapy (MIT) have signs of microvascular dysfunction and to elucidate possible correlations with various disease parameters. Skin blood flow on the dorsum of the foot was measured with laser Doppler perfusion imaging in 37 patients (age 10-21 years, disease duration 6.0-16 years) and 10 healthy controls. Measurements were performed at rest, after change in posture (the leg was lowered below heart level) and during postocclusive hyperaemia. Following a change in posture blood flow increased instead of decreased in a majority of the study subjects. Patients with acute HbA1c >7.5% (n = 22) had an increase in skin blood flow at rest and a significantly reduced blood flow when the leg was lowered below heart level as compared with patients with HbA1c <7.5% (0.26 V versus 0.17 V, P<0.01 and 0.12 V versus 0.23 V, P<0.05, respectively) and healthy controls. Following occlusion of the macrocirculation for 3 min a small non-significant decrease in the hyperaemic response was seen in the patients. The postocclusive hyperaemic response and the venoarteriolar reflex were not correlated to duration of disease, long-term metabolic control or electrophysiological signs of peripheral nerve dysfunction. It is concluded that signs of microvascular dysfunction related to poor metabolic control are present in young patients with MIT treatment and rather well-controlled diabetes. Low resting blood flow levels are suggested to contribute to the absence of postural vasoconstrictor response.