Diabetes duration is associated with increased thin-cap fibroatheroma detected by intravascular ultrasound with virtual histology

Jason B. Lindsey, John A. House, Kevin F. Kennedy, Steven P. Marso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

40 Scopus citations


Background - Coronary plaque classified as thin-cap fibroatheroma (TCFA) is believed to be associated with plaque rupture and coronary heart disease-related events. Although an association between duration of diabetes and increased coronary heart disease risk has been demonstrated, the relationship between TCFA and diabetes duration is unknown. Methods and Results - Prospective registry of diabetic patients undergoing diagnostic coronary angiography and intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) enrolled in a diabetic gene and biomarker banking registry. Plaque composition in the most diseased 10-mm segment of a single coronary artery was assessed using IVUS virtual histology and was classified by phenotype as IVUS-defined adaptive intimal thickening, pathological intimal thickening, TCFA, fibroatheroma, or fibrocalcific. Patients (n=54) were stratified by duration of diabetes (<10 or ≥10 years). Patients with diabetes ≥10 years were older, less likely to have a history of tobacco use, had higher total cholesterol levels, and were more likely to be treated with insulin compared with patients with diabetes <10 years. Longer duration of diabetes was associated with greater plaque burden in the most diseased 10-mm segment (60.4% [53.4% to 66.8%] versus 50.2% [47.7% to 58.4%], P=0.008). The proportion of IVUS-defined TCFA in the >10-year group was greater than the <10-year group (54.4% [11.6% to 77.5%] versus 10.8% [0.0% to 26.1%], P=0.009). This association persisted after adjustment for multiple comparisons, clinical characteristics, and diabetes treatment. Conclusions - In this cohort, longer duration of diabetes was associated with IVUS-defined TCFA, a plaque phenotype associated with risk of rupture and coronary heart disease events.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)543-548
Number of pages6
JournalCirculation: Cardiovascular Interventions
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2009



  • Atherosclerosis
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Imaging
  • Plaque

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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