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  • Moderated poster presentation
  • Open Access

Coronary artery distensibility assessed by cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus and healthy controls

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Journal of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance201315 (Suppl 1) :M5

  • Published:


  • Coronary Artery Disease
  • Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance
  • Patient Coronary Artery Disease
  • Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Coronary Artery Segment


Recently, measurement of coronary artery distensibility by MRI has been demonstrated [1, 2]. We sought to assess coronary artery distensibility non-invasively in older healthy subjects and patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM), and to analyze differences in coronary artery distensibility in patients with DM based on the presence or absence of coronary artery disease (CAD).


A total of 29 patients with DM treated with insulin (20 men, mean age 62 ± 10 years, mean ±SD) and 10 healthy, adult subjects (4 men, mean age 54 ± 4 years) were studied using a commercial whole-body 3.0 Tesla MRI system. In 13 (45%) patients with diabetes CAD was known (mean age 62 ± 10 years); in 16 (55%) DM patients CAD was absent (mean age 62 ± 11 years). The presence of CAD was defined using a previous coronary x-ray angiogram. In each subject, the proximal segment of a coronary artery was imaged for cross-sectional area measurements using cine spiral MRI [3]. Distensibility (mmHg-1*103) was determined as (lumen max - lumen min)/(pulse pressure x lumen min) x 1000. The pulse pressure was calculated as the difference between the systolic and diastolic brachial blood pressure. All continuous parameters are given as mean + one standard deviation (SD). For all tests, p<0.05 was considered statistically significant. All tests were two-sided.


A total of 23 patients (24 coronary artery segments) with type 2 diabetes mellitus and 10 healthy subjects (13 coronary artery segments) had adequate image quality for coronary area measurements. Coronary artery distensibility was significantly higher in the healthy subjects than in those with DM only (5.9 ± 3.0 vs. 3.2 ± 1.8 mm Hg-1*103, p = 0.02; median 5.5 vs. 3.5) and higher in patients with DM only than in patients with both DM and CAD 3.2 ± 1.8 vs..1.4 ± 0.9, p < 0.01, median 3.5 vs. 1.4), see Figure 1.

Figure 1


Coronary artery distensibility is significantly higher in healthy controls than in patients with DM. Our non-invasive measurements suggest that the presence of low coronary artery distensibility in patients with DM is associated with CAD.



Authors’ Affiliations

Internal Medicine/Cardiology, German Heart Institute Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Interdisziplinäres Stoffwechsel-Centrum, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Campus Virchow-Klinikum, Berlin, Germany
Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA
Department of Radiology, Division of Magnetic Resonance Research, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA
Department of Radiology, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois, Center for Biomedical Imaging (CIBM), University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland


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© Winkel et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2013

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.