BackgroundLevels of galectin-3, a member of a family of soluble -galactoside-binding lectins, are reported to be higher in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) and metabolic syndrome. Conflicting results exist on the effects of galectin-3 in diabetic patients. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between galectin-3 levels and coronary artery disease (CAD), coronary plaque burden, and plaque structures in patients with type 2 DM.Patients and methodsA total of 158 consecutive patients with type 2 DM undergoing planned coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA) were included in this study. The study population was divided into CAD and non-CAD groups according to the presence of CCTA-determined coronary atherosclerosis.ResultsGalectin-3 concentrations were significantly higher in the CAD group than in the non-CAD group (1412.0441.7 vs. 830.2 +/- 434.9pg/ml, P<0.001). Galectin-3 levels were correlated positively with BMI, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, the total number of diseased vessels, the number of plaques (all, P<0.001), and the calcified plaque type (P=0.001). In addition, galectin-3 levels were found to be a significant independent predictor of coronary atherosclerosis in type 2 diabetic patients (P=021; odds ratio, 1.002; 95% confidence interval, 1.000-1.003).ConclusionGalectin-3 is a novel, promising biomarker that may help identify type 2 diabetic patients who may require early CAD intervention because of the potential risk of coronary atherosclerosis.