Silent brain infarction (SBI) is often detected on MR imaging, however the pathogenesis is still unclear. We aimed to investigate and compare the association of soluble adhesion molecules and C-reactive protein levels with the prevalence of SBI in patients with and without diabetes mellitus. We recruited 130 patients (mean age 59.6 ± 7.6 yrs) with type 2 diabetes and 130 age- and sex-matched non-diabetic subjects. All subjects underwent head MRI to determine SBI. We measured levels of soluble intercellular adhesion molecule 1(sICAM-1), vascular cell adhesion molecule 1(sVCAM- 1), and high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) and evaluated intima-media complex thickness (IMT) in common carotid arteries by ultrasound B-mode imaging. SBI was present in 36 ( 27.7%) of the diabetic patients and 31 ( 23.8%) of the non-diabetic subjects. Levels of sICAM-1, sVCAM-1 and IMT were all significantly higher in diabetic patients than in non-diabetic subjects, and were significantly increased in both subjects with SBI. IMT was only positively correlated with sVCAM-1 levels in diabetic and non-diabetic subjects. On the other hand, hs-CRP levels were not significantly different in both subjects with and without SBI. In addition, sICAM-1 levels were associated with a significantly higher relative risk for the prevalence of SBI in diabetic patients after multivariate adjustment. Our study suggests that the associations between endothelial dysfunction and presence of SBI may be stronger in diabetic patients than in nondiabetic subjects. In particular, sICAM-1 may play an important role for the pathogenesis of SBI in patients with diabetes mellitus.
Keywords: Silent brain infarction, diabetes mellitus, adhesion molecules, hs-CRP, intima-media thickness, endothelial dysfunction
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