Background: This study examines the association between six types of carotid artery disease image-based phenotypes and HbA1c in diabetes patients. Six phenotypes (intima-media thickness measurements (cIMT (ave.), cIMT (max.), cIMT (min.)), bidirectional wall variability (cIMTV), morphology-based total plaque area (mTPA), and composite risk score (CRS)) were measured in an automated setting using AtheroEdge™ (AtheroPoint, CA, USA).
Method: Consecutive 199 patients (157 M, age: 68.96 ± 10.98 years), L/R common carotid artery (CCA; 398 US scans) who underwent a carotid ultrasound (L/R) were retrospectively analyzed using AtheroEdge™ system. Two operators (novice and experienced) manually calibrated all the US scans using AtheroEdge™. Logistic regression (LR) and Odds ratio (OR) was computed and phenotypes were ranked.
Results: The baseline results showed 150 low-risk patients (HbA1c < 6.50 mg/dl) and 49 high-risk patients (HbA1c ≥ 6.50 mg/dl). The fasting blood sugar (FBS) was highly associated with HbA1c (P < 0.001). Except for cIMTV, all phenotypes showed an OR > 1.0 (P < 0.001) for left common carotid artery (LCCA), right carotid artery (RCCA), and mean of left and right common carotid artery (MCCA). After adjusting the FBS, the OR for mTPA showed a higher risk for LCCA, RCCA, and MCCA. The coefficient of correlation (CC) between phenotypes and HbA1c were strong and inter-CC between cIMT and mTPA/CRS was above 0.9 (P < 0.001). The statistical tests showed that phenotypes were significantly associated with diabetes (P-value<0.0001).
Conclusions: All phenotypes using AtheroEdge™, except cIMTV, showed a strong association with HbA1c. mTPA and CRS were equally strong phenotypes as cIMT. The CRS phenotype showed the strongest relationship to HbA1c.