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Background: Previously, we have reported that daily glucose fluctuations could affect coronary plaque vulnerability, but the underlying mechanisms remained unclear. This study sought to investigate the impact of CD14(++) CD16(+) monocytes on plaque vulnerability, as assessed by virtual histology intravascular ultrasound (VH-IVUS), as well as their relationship to fluctuating glucose levels in patients with asymptomatic coronary artery disease (CAD). Methods: Fifty-one patients with asymptomatic CAD, who were undergoing lipid-lowering therapy and underwent VH-IVUS evaluation for angiographically mild to moderate lesions, were enrolled in the study. Standard VH-IVUS parameters, including the percentage volume of the necrotic core (%NC) within the plaque and the presence of a virtual histology thin-cap fibroatheroma (VH-TCFA), were then evaluated. Additionally, monocyte subsets were assessed by flow cytometry, and daily glucose fluctuations were analyzed by measuring the mean amplitude of glycemic excursion (MAGE). Results: Among 82 plaques from 22 diabetes mellitus (DM) patients and 29 non-DM patients, 15 VH-TCFAs were identified. CD14(++) CD16(+) monocyte counts significantly correlated with both %NC and the presence of VH-TCFA (%NC: r = 0.339, p = 0.002; VH-TCFA: p = 0.003). Multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that CD14++ CD16+ monocyte counts were independently associated with VH-TCFA (odds ratio = 1.029, p = 0.004). Furthermore, CD14(++) CD16(+) monocyte counts were significantly correlated with the MAGE score in the non-DM patients (r = 0.544, p = 0.005). Conclusions: CD14(++) CD16(+) monocyte levels are associated with coronary plaque vulnerability and can serve as a biomarker for VH-TCFA in patients with CAD undergoing lipid-lowering therapy. In patients without DM, glucose fluctuations may alter the balance of monocyte subsets.


  • Cardiovascular Diabetology

    Cardiovascular Diabetology (16), 96, 2017-08-08

    BioMed Central


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