The Impact of Diabetes and Time on the Atherosclerotic Plaque and Cardiovascular Outcome in Patients Undergoing Iliofemoral Endarterectomy

Ian D. van Koeverden, Vincent P. W. Scholtes, Hester M. den Ruijter, Stijn C. E. Hazenberg, Dominique P. V. de Kleijn, Gert J. de Borst

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Objective: The incidence of diabetes is rapidly increasing and diabetes is associated with an increased risk of peripheral artery disease. Recent studies have shown a time dependent decline in vulnerable plaque features and secondary cardiovascular events in iliofemoral endarterectomy (IFE) patients. IFE patients with diabetes have a high risk of cardiovascular events. It is not known, however, whether vulnerable plaque features and cardiovascular events reduce over time in IFE patients with diabetes. Methods: Between 2003 and 2014, 691 atherosclerotic plaques were obtained by IFE, from 212 patients with and 479 patients without diabetes. Plaques were immunohistochemically stained and analysed for the presence of intraplaque haemorrhage, lipid core, calcification, collagen, smooth muscle cells, and macrophages. Patients were stratified according to their diabetic status and year of inclusion. All patients had a follow up of three years in which cardiovascular adverse events were recorded. Results: A time dependent decrease was observed in intraplaque haemorrhage, plaque lipid core, and percentage of macrophages in IFE patients with diabetes. After multivariable correction for changes in risk factors over time, intraplaque haemorrhage (64.2% [2002–2005] vs. 39.6% [2012–2014], p =.01) became significantly less prevalent. Interestingly, the percentage of severely calcified plaques remained high over time. The number of secondary events decreased over time in patients without diabetes (HR 1.80, 95% CI 1.15–2.81 (p =.010) for 2002–2005 vs. 2012–2014), but remained high and unchanged in patients with diabetes. Conclusion: In patients with diabetes undergoing IFE, a time dependent stabilisation of atherosclerotic plaque features was found in line with previous observations in patients with severe atherosclerosis. The presence of severely calcified lesions remained high and unchanged. The secondary event rate remained high in patients with diabetes in contrast to a significant decrease in patients without diabetes. These findings stress the need for improvement of care in IFE patients with diabetes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)832-841
JournalEuropean Journal of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2019

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