Is ischemia the only factor predicting cardiovascular outcomes in all diabetes mellitus patients?
Cardiovascular Diabetology, April 2017
Mark W. Kennedy, Enrico Fabris, Harry Suryapranata, Elvin Kedhi
Diabetes mellitus (DM) is associated with an excess in cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, and is characterized by increased rates of coronary artery disease. Furthermore, once atherosclerosis is established, this is associated with an increased extent, complexity and a more rapid progression than seen in non-DM patients. Ischemia is the single most important predictor of future hard cardiac events and ischemia correction remains the cornerstone of current revascularization strategies. However recent data suggests that, in DM patients, coronary atherosclerosis despite the absence of ischemia, detected by either invasive or non-invasive methods, may not be associated with the same low risk of future cardiac events as seen in non-DM patients. This review seeks to examine the current evidence supporting an ischemia driven revascularization strategy, and to challenge the notion that ischemia is the only clinically relevant factor in the prediction of cardiovascular outcomes in all-comer DM patients. Specifically, we examine whether in DM patients certain characteristics beyond ischemia, such as microvascular disease, coronary atherosclerosis burden, progression and plaque composition, may need to be considered for a more refined risk stratification in these high-risk patients.
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