Carotid plaque serves as a reliable predictor of future obstructive coronary artery disease (CAD) and cardiovascular events in patients with asymptomatic type 2 diabetes (T2D), according to a study published in the American Journal of Cardiology.

This multicenter, prospective, observational study examined the association between coronary artery disease and carotid disease to distinguish which carotid proper

ties are useful in predicting cardiovascular events in patients with asymptomatic T2D. Researchers performed a 34-month follow-up study on 259 such patients after they received carotid plaque and carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT) measurement with B-mode ultrasound.

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Of the patients with coronary plaque greater than 50% stenosis, 59 had carotid plaque and 36 did not (P =.02). After adjusting for risk factors, a greater maximum CIMT was linked with a higher incidence of stenosis >70% (odds ratio [OR], 1.23; P =.04) and coronary plaque >50% (OR, 1.21; P =.03).

At the end of the follow-up period, the estimated incidence of cardiovascular events in the entire population was 7.1%, with a mean age of 68 years. Patients with carotid plaque were at significantly higher risk for major cardiovascular event than patients without it (P =.005).

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These results suggest “carotid plaque was a strong predictor of future cardiovascular events and may be a prognostic marker in asymptomatic patients with [T2D]. Carotid plaque and maximal intima-media thickness were independently associated with obstructive CAD.”


Jeevarethinam A, Venuraju S, Dumo A, et al. Usefulness of carotid plaques as predictors of obstructive coronary artery disease and cardiovascular events in asymptomatic individuals with diabetes mellitus [published online February 27, 2018]. Am J Cardiol. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2018.01.001