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Joseph D Maxwell, Howard H Carter, Ylva Hellsten, Gemma D Miller, Victoria S Sprung, Daniel J Cuthbertson, Dick H J Thijssen and Helen Jones

Background

Remote ischaemic preconditioning (rIPC) may improve cardiac/cerebrovascular outcomes of ischaemic events. Ischaemic damage caused by cardiovascular/cerebrovascular disease are primary causes of mortality in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Due to the positive effects from a bout of rIPC within the vasculature, we explored if daily rIPC could improve endothelial and cerebrovascular function. The aim of this pilot study was to obtain estimates for the change in conduit artery and cerebrovascular function following a 7-day rIPC intervention.

Methods

Twenty-one patients with T2DM were randomly allocated to either 7-day daily upper-arm rIPC (4 × 5 min 220 mmHg, interspaced by 5-min reperfusion) or control. We examined peripheral endothelial function using flow mediated dilation (FMD) before and after ischemia-reperfusion injury (IRI, 20 min forearm ischaemic-20 min reperfusion) and cerebrovascular function, assessed by dynamic cerebral autoregulation (dCA) at three time points; pre, post and 8 days post intervention.

Results

For exploratory purposes, we performed statistical analysis on our primary comparison (pre-to-post) to provide an estimate of the change in the primary and secondary outcome variables. Using pre-intervention data as a covariate, the change from pre-post in FMD was 1.3% (95% CI: 0.69 to 3.80; P = 0.09) and 0.23 %cm/s %/mmHg mmHg/% (−0.12, 0.59; P = 0.18) in dCA normalised gain with rIPC versus control. Based upon this, a sample size of 20 and 50 for FMD and normalised gain, respectively, in each group would provide 90% power to detect statistically significant (P < 0.05) between-group difference in a randomised controlled trial.

Conclusion

We provide estimates of sample size for a randomised control trial exploring the impact of daily rIPC for 7 days on peripheral endothelial and cerebrovascular function. The directional changes outline from our pilot study suggest peripheral endothelial function can be enhanced by daily rIPC in patients with T2DM.

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Daniel J Cuthbertson, Martin O Weickert, Daniel Lythgoe, Victoria S Sprung, Rebecca Dobson, Fariba Shoajee-Moradie, Margot Umpleby, Andreas F H Pfeiffer, E Louise Thomas, Jimmy D Bell, Helen Jones and Graham J Kemp

Background and aims

Simple clinical algorithms including the fatty liver index (FLI) and lipid accumulation product (LAP) have been developed as surrogate markers for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), constructed using (semi-quantitative) ultrasonography. This study aimed to validate FLI and LAP as measures of hepatic steatosis, as determined quantitatively by proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-MRS).

Methods

Data were collected from 168 patients with NAFLD and 168 controls who had undergone clinical, biochemical and anthropometric assessment. Values of FLI and LAP were determined and assessed both as predictors of the presence of hepatic steatosis (liver fat >5.5%) and of actual liver fat content, as measured by 1H-MRS. The discriminative ability of FLI and LAP was estimated using the area under the receiver operator characteristic curve (AUROC). As FLI can also be interpreted as a predictive probability of hepatic steatosis, we assessed how well calibrated it was in our cohort. Linear regression with prediction intervals was used to assess the ability of FLI and LAP to predict liver fat content. Further validation was provided in 54 patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Results

FLI, LAP and alanine transferase discriminated between patients with and without steatosis with an AUROC of 0.79 (IQR=0.74, 0.84), 0.78 (IQR=0.72, 0.83) and 0.83 (IQR=0.79, 0.88) respectively although could not quantitatively predict liver fat. Additionally, the algorithms accurately matched the observed percentages of patients with hepatic steatosis in our cohort.

Conclusions

FLI and LAP may be used to identify patients with hepatic steatosis clinically or for research purposes but could not predict liver fat content.

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Victoria S Sprung, Kelly A Bowden Davies, Juliette A Norman, Andrew Thompson, Katie L Mitchell, John P H Wilding, Graham J Kemp and Daniel J Cuthbertson

Background

Data suggest that metabolic health status, incorporating components of metabolic syndrome (MetS), predicts cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk better than BMI. This study explored the association of MetS and obesity with endothelial function, a prognostic risk factor for incident CVD.

Methods

Forty-four participants were phenotyped according to BMI as non-obese vs obese (<30 or >30 kg/m2) and according to the International Diabetes Federation criteria of MetS: ≤2 criteria MetS (MetS−) vs ≥3 criteria MetS (MetS+); (1.)non-obese MetS− vs (2.) non-obese MetS+ and (3.) obese MetS vs (4.) obese MetS+. Flow-mediated dilation (FMD), body composition including liver fat (MRI and spectroscopy), dietary intake, intensities of habitual physical activity and cardio-respiratory fitness were determined. Variables were analysed using a one-factor between-groups ANOVA and linear regression; mean (95% CI) are presented.

Results

Individuals with MetS+ displayed lower FMD than those with MetS−. For non-obese individuals mean difference between MetS+ and MetS− was 4.1% ((1.0, 7.3); P = 0.004) and obese individuals had a mean difference between MetS+ and MetS− of 6.2% ((3.1, 9.2); P < 0.001). Although there was no association between BMI and FMD (P = 0.27), an increased number of MetS components was associated with a lower FMD (P = 0.005), and after adjustment for age and sex, 19.7% of the variance of FMD was explained by MetS, whereas only 1.1% was explained by BMI.

Conclusions

In this study cohort, components of MetS, rather than obesity per se, contribute to reduced FMD, which suggests a reduced bioavailability of nitric oxide and thus increased risk of CVD.