Objectives: We sought to assess the impact of diabetic retinopathy on long-term outcome among patients with diabetes and multivessel coronary artery disease (MVD) following coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG).
Background: For diabetics, CABG is the preferred revascularization strategy. Diabetic retinopathy is a major microvascular complication of diabetes, and its severity is directly related to total glycemic exposure.
Methods: We identified 223 consecutive diabetics with MVD whose retinae were evaluated within one year prior to CABG. The most recent ophthalmologic records up until the time of CABG were used to evaluate the severity of retinopathy. The median follow-up after CABG was 11.6 years.
Results: Diabetic retinopathy was a strong independent predictor of overall mortality (relative risk [RR], 4.0), and repeat revascularization (RR, 3.0). In separate analyses of diabetics with retinopathy and without retinopathy, predictors of mortality differed significantly between the two groups. Among diabetics with retinopathy, the presence of either preoperative renal (RR, 2.5) or ventricular (RR, 2.0) dysfunction had unfavorable effects on mortality, but the survival curves did not differ significantly according to the presence or absence of internal thoracic artery (ITA) grafting. In comparison, among diabetics without retinopathy, ITA grafting (RR, 0.34) had a beneficial effect on mortality, and the survival curves varied somewhat according to the presence or absence of renal or ventricular dysfunction.
Conclusions: Diabetics with retinopathy had a distinct post-CABG course with a worse long-term prognosis, as compared with diabetics without retinopathy. Retina evaluation is useful for prediction of long-term prognosis and management of diabetics who need CABG.