Objectives: The aim of this review is to discuss the particularities of coronary artery disease (CAD), the effect of intensive medical management and the outcome of percutaneous and surgical revascularization in patients with diabetes mellitus (DM).
Background: CAD represents the leading cause of death in patients with DM. Numerous clinical, biological and angiographic risk factors have been shown to be associated with CAD in diabetic patients.
Methods: Metabolic abnormalities in patients with DM including insulin resistance, hyperglycemia and dyslipidemia are briefly discussed. Then the potential roles of medical management and of percutaneous and surgical coronary revascularization are more extensively reviewed.
Results: More vigorous control of hyperglycemia, hyperlipidemia, hypertension and other risk factors may be of crucial importance for risk reduction. Despite remarkable progress in recent years, the choice of a coronary revascularization strategy remains a challenge in these patients. Diabetic patients with CAD are predisposed to higher cardiovascular events after balloon angioplasty. Whether stenting and new antiplatelet drugs improve the results of percutaneous revascularization in this population needs further evaluation. The superiority of the surgical approach is also not definitely established. Therefore, many aspects of coronary revascularization are still unclear in these patients.
Conclusions: The results of ongoing randomized trials comparing multiple coronary stents to bypass surgery will likely provide some answers to our questions and additional randomized trials evaluating intensive diabetic control with or without coronary revascularization are needed to determine the best therapeutic approach in these patients.