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AIMS: Diabetes accelerates progression of atherosclerotic disease, but data on associations between diabetes and advanced atherosclerotic plaque composition are scarce. METHODS AND RESULTS: We used one of the largest biobanks, the Athero-Express study (n=1455) at carotid endarterectomy (CEA). All plaques were subjected to histological analysis to assess lipid core size, collagen, macrophages, smooth muscle cells, micro-vessel density and calcifications. In addition, within a subset of patients cytokines and chemokines were assessed. The 295 patients (20%) with type-2 diabetes showed a higher proportion of previous cardiovascular interventions and more stringent treatment for hypertension and hypercholesterolaemia compared with patients without type-2 diabetes. Surprisingly, no associations between diabetes and histological plaque characteristics were observed. In addition, no differences were observed in the expression of inflammatory chemokines, cytokines or advanced glycation end products in plaques of diabetic and non-diabetic patients. CONCLUSION: In patients suffering from significant carotid artery disease, diabetes does not appear to be associated with specific atherosclerotic plaque characteristics.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





418 - 423


Carotid endarterectomy, Carotid plaque, Diabetes, Histology, Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2, Endarterectomy, Carotid, Plaque, Atherosclerotic