The aim of the study was to assess differences in the presence, extent, and composition of coronary atherosclerotic plaque burden as detected by coronary multidetector computed tomography (MDCT) between patients with and without diabetes mellitus.
We compared coronary atherosclerotic plaques (any plaque, calcified [CAP], non-calcified [NCAP, and mixed plaque [MCAP]]) between 144 symptomatic diabetic and non-diabetic patients (36 diabetics, mean age: 54.4+/-12, 64% females) who underwent coronary 64-slice MDCT (Siemens Medical Solutions, Forchheim, Germany) for the evaluation of acute chest pain but proven absence of myocardial ischemia.
Patients with diabetes had a higher prevalence of any plaque, CAP, MCAP, and NCAP (p=0.08, 0.07, 0.05, and 0.05, respectively) and a significantly higher extent of any plaque, CAP, MCAP, and NCAP (3.8+/-4.2 vs. 2.0+/-3.2, p=0.01; 3.3+/-4.0 vs. 1.7+/-3.0, p=0.03; 1.4+/-2.6 vs. 0.6+/-1.5, p=0.03; and 1.9+/-3.0 vs. 1.0+/-1.9, p=0.03, respectively) as compared to controls. In addition, patients with diabetes had a significant higher prevalence of significant coronary artery stenosis (42% vs. 14%, p=0.0004) and an approximately 3.5-fold higher risk of significant coronary stenosis independent of the presence of hypertension and BMI (OR: 3.46, 95% CI: 1.37-8.74, p=0.009).
Patients with diabetes have an approximately 3.5-fold higher risk of coronary stenosis independent of other cardiovascular risk factors and an overall increased coronary atherosclerotic plaque burden.