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Skin autofluorescence, a non-invasive marker of advanced glycation end products: clinical relevance and limitations
  1. Cidila Da Moura Semedo1,
  2. M'Balu Webb1,2,
  3. Helen Waller3,
  4. Kamlesh Khunti1,2,3,
  5. Melanie Davies1,2,3
  1. 1The Leicester Diabetes Centre, University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, Leicester General Hospital, Leicester, UK
  2. 2NIHR Leicester-Loughborough Diet, Lifestyle and Physical Activity Biomedical Research Unit, University Hospitals of Leicester, Leicester General Hospital, Leicester, UK
  3. 3Diabetes Research Centre, University of Leicester, Leicester General Hospital, Leicester, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr M'Balu Webb, The Leicester Diabetes Centre, University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, Leicester General Hospital, Gwendolen Road, Leicester, LE5 4PW, UK; balu.webb{at}uhl-tr.nhs.uk

Abstract

Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) are protein-bound compounds derived from glycaemic and oxidative stress that contain fluorescent properties, which can be non-invasively measured as skin autofluorescence (SAF) by the AGE Reader. SAF has been demonstrated to be a biomarker of cumulative skin AGEs and potentially may be a better predictor for the development of chronic complications and mortality in diabetes than glycated haemoglobin A1c. However, there are several confounding factors that should be assessed prior to its broader application: these include presence of other fluorescent compounds in the skin that might be measured (eg, fluorophores), skin pigmentation and use of skin creams. The aim of this article is to provide a theoretical background of this newly developed method, evaluate its clinical relevance and discuss the potential confounding factors that need further analysis.

  • Advanced glycation end products
  • skin autofluorescence
  • AGE-Reader
  • diabetes
  • cardiovascular risk
  • confounding factors

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Footnotes

  • Contributors CDMS wrote the manuscript and MW, HW, KK and MD reviewed and advised on each draft.

  • Funding This work was supported by the NIHR Leicester-Loughborough Diet, Lifestyle and Physical Activity Biomedical Research Unit which is a partnership between University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, Loughborough University and the University of Leicester and the National Institute for Health Research Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care—East Midlands (NIHR CLAHRC—EM).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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