Objectives: The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence and severity of coronary artery disease (CAD) and the plaque composition in asymptomatic diabetic and nondiabetic patients undergoing coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA).
Background: CAD is the major cause of death among patients with diabetes. The true prevalence of CAD in asymptomatic diabetic patients, however, remains unknown.
Materials and methods: A total of 328 consecutive patients (each with at least one risk factor or abnormal stress-test results) were referred for cardiac evaluation, 42 with diabetes and 286 without diabetes, all asymptomatic for cardiac-related symptoms. Groups were matched for age, sex, and CAD risk factors. CAD was defined as coronary atherosclerosis, with obstructive or nonobstructive lesions. CCTA was performed and findings compared between patients with diabetes and those without.
Results: CAD was present in 39 (93%) diabetic patients and in 211 (73%) nondiabetic patients (P=0.006). Obstructive CAD was more common in diabetic patients than in nondiabetic patients (29 vs. 6.6%, respectively; P<0.0001). In diabetic patients, more coronary segments with atherosclerosis per patient were detected (5.5 segments/patient vs. 2.8 segments/patient in nondiabetics; P<0.0001). The total Agatston score was significantly higher in diabetic patients vs. nondiabetic patients (370+/-96 and 79.9+/-16, respectively; P<0.0001).
Conclusion: Our results indicate a high prevalence (93%) of CAD in asymptomatic diabetic patients with either nonobstructive or obstructive lesions. CCTA may be a useful imaging modality for selecting patients at high risk who would benefit most from further evaluation for subclinical ischemia.