This century brings a pandemic of diabetes mellitus, with marked increases in early-accelerated atherosclerosis. When asymptomatic patients with diabetes present for evaluation, they have more extensive coronary atherosclerosis, lower ejection fractions, higher rates of previous cardiac events, and more silent ischemia than the normal population. The challenge faced by clinicians is to accurately identify asymptomatic patients with diabetes who have significant coronary ischemia that would benefit from revascularization. Diabetic endovascular disease has all the high-risk features to promote atherosclerosis and coronary occlusion: hyperglycemia-induced endothelial dysfunction, impaired fibrinolysis, increased platelet aggregation, plaque instability, dysfunctional arterial remodeling, and fibrotic and calcified coronary arteries. The optimal revascularization strategy for patients with diabetes is an ongoing debate. The advent of drug-eluting stents has changed the landscape, and some have suggested that the current role of coronary artery bypass grafting may be reduced by as much as 46%. Unfortunately, there is limited evidence from randomized, controlled trials that reflects current practice and could guide clinicians in making the best choices for patients with diabetes and coronary disease. It is hoped that ongoing trials-including Bypass Angioplasty Revascularization Investigation 2 Diabetes (BARI 2D), Future Revascularization Evaluation in Patients with Diabetes Mellitus: Optimal Management of Multivessel Disease (FREEDOM), and Coronary Artery Revascularisation in Diabetes (CARDia)-will answer many of the remaining questions. Still, the best treatment includes lifestyle modification and early prevention strategies with global risk reduction.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine