Endothelium-Dependent Vasodilation Reduced in T2DM Regardless of Polyneuropathy

HealthDay News — Patients with type 2 diabetes have reduced endothelium-dependent vasodilation, regardless of the presence of polyneuropathy, according to a study published online in Diabetes Care.

Anna L. Emanuel, from the VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam, and colleagues compared skin microvascular function in 16 healthy controls, 16 patients with cryptogenic axonal polyneuropathy (CAP), 15 patients with type 2 diabetes with polyneuropathy (DPN), and 11 patients with type 2 diabetes without polyneuropathy. Skin biopsy and nerve conduction studies were used to assess axonal degeneration.

The researchers found that, compared with healthy controls, patients with CAP and DPN demonstrated a similar decrease in intraepidermal nerve fiber density and sural sensory nerve action potential. Compared with healthy controls, patients with CAP had a similar vasodilator response to acetylcholine (relative mean difference based on log values, 13.3%; P =.652), but patients with diabetes, with and without neuropathy, had lower response (157.5% and 174.2%; both P =.003). There were no significant differences between the patient groups with diabetes (P =.845). The vasodilator response to sodium nitroprusside did not differ significantly among the groups (P =.0802).

“These data suggest that in type 2 diabetes, neuropathy does not contribute to impaired microvascular endothelium-dependent vasodilation and vice-versa,” the authors wrote.

Disclosures: One author is an employee of Biogen, which funded the study.


Emanuel AL, Nieuwenhoff MD, Klaassen ES, et al. Relationships between type 2 diabetes, neuropathy, and microvascular dysfunction: evidence from patients with cryptogenic axonal polyneuropathy [published February 10, 2017]. Diabetes Care. doi:10.2237/dc16-1690