Diffuse coronary artery disease in diabetic patients: fact or fiction?
To compare angiographically-determined coronary artery disease in diabetic patients with controls, 1,653 patients coming to cardiac catheterization were reviewed retrospectively to find 37 diabetic and 79 control patients matched for sex, age (+/- 3 years), and risk factors (hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and smoking). The severity of coronary artery disease was assessed using an angiographic grading system. The following results were obtained: 16 of 37 diabetic patients (43%) had three-vessel disease compared to 20 of 79 controls (25%). Seventy-six of 111 (68%) diabetic vessels were diseased compared to 110 of 237 control vessels (46%) (P less than 0.005). The total coronary score reflecting total extent of disease for diabetic patients was 371 (mean 10.0 +/- (SEM) compared to 594 for controls (mean 7.5 +/- 0.7, (P less than 0.01). Diabetic patients had a statistically similar number of diffusely diseased vessels as controls (28% vs 22%). There were only three of 76 diabetic vessels (4%) considered inoperable compared to seven of 110 (6%) control vessels. We conclude that diabetic patients with chest pain have more coronary artery disease than nondiabetics, but no more diffuse or inoperable disease.
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