How to treat diabetic patients with multivessel disease in the DES era

P. Pagnotta, M. Cannavale, C. Briguori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus represent the 25% of those requiring myocardial revascularization. Choice of treatment in diabetic patients is much more controversial than in non-diabetics: this because coronary artery disease is more often complex and diffuse, left ventricular function is depressed, and concomitant multiple risk factors are present. These subset of patients experience worse outcomes than non diabetic patients undergoing either coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) or percutaneous coronary interventions (PCI). Large randomized trials performed both in the early era of PCI and in the stent era suggest that CABG is superior to bare metal stent implantation in the treatment of diabetic patients with multivessel coronary artery disease. These findings are reflected in current guidelines, which favor CABG over PCI in most diabetics who require revascularization. However, substantial variability exists in practice patterns among individual hospital, suggesting a lack of clinical consensus. The major advantage of CABG over bare metal stent implantation in diabetic patients is the lower risk of repeat revascularization procedures through the follow-up. Better angiographic results have been demonstrated in the new era of drug-eluting stents (DES). Data from both the sirolimuns and paclitaxel-eluting stents trials support the potential advantage of DES implantation both in diabetic and non-diabetic patients. Preliminary data from studies comparing DES versus CABG in diabetic patients with multivessel coronary artery disease suggests that 1) no significant difference exists in the 12-month rate of death, myocardial infarction and cerebrovascular events in patients treated with DES as compared to off-pump bypass surgery, 2) a difference of 7.1% in the rate of repeat revascularization at 12-month exists in favor of bypass surgery and 3) diabetic retinopathy identifies a subgroup with poor outcome after both percutaneous and surgical myocardial revascularization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)557-569
Number of pages13
JournalMinerva Cardioangiologica
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2006


  • Coronary artery bypass
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Diabete mellitus
  • Stents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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