Kallistatin as a marker of microvascular complications in children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes mellitus: Relation to carotid intima media thickness

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In diabetes, angiogenesis is disturbed, contributing to proliferative retinopathy, nephropathy and neuropathy. Kallistatin, a serine proteinase inhibitor, has anti-angiogenic effects. We assessed serum kallistatin in children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes as a potential marker for microvascular complications and its relation to carotid intima media thickness (CIMT). Sixty patients with type 1 diabetes were divided into two groups according to the presence of microvascular complications and compared with 30 healthy controls. High-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), HbA1c, urinary albumin creatinine ratio (UACR), kallistatin levels and CIMT were assessed. Kallistatin levels were significantly higher in patients with microvascular complications (9.9 ± 2.38 ng/mL) and those without complications (5.0 ± 1.5 ng/mL) than in healthy controls (1.39 ± 0.55 ng/mL; p<0.001). Kallistatin was increased in patients with microalbuminuria compared with the normoalbuminuric group (p<0.001). Positive correlations were found between kallistatin and disease duration, fasting blood glucose, HbA1c, triglycerides, total cholesterol, hs-CRP, UACR and CIMT (p<0.05). A kallistatin cut-off value at 6.1 ng/mL could differentiate patients with and without microvascular complications, with a sensitivity of 96.87% and specificity of 93.75%. Increased kallistatin levels in type 1 diabetes and its relation with CIMT may reflect vascular dysfunction and suggest a link between micro- and macro-angiopathy.

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