Assessment of coronary artery disease and calcified coronary plaque burden by computed tomography in patients with and without diabetes mellitus
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Purpose: To compare the coronary atherosclerotic burden in patients with and without type-2 diabetes using CT Coronary Angiography (CTCA). Methods and Materials: 147 diabetic (mean age: 65 ± 10 years; male: 89) and 979 nondiabetic patients (mean age: 61 ± 13 years; male: 567) without a history of coronary artery disease (CAD) underwent CTCA. The per-patient number of diseased coronary segments was determined and each diseased segment was classified as showing obstructive lesion (luminal narrowing >50%) or not. Coronary calcium scoring (CCS) was assessed too. Results: Diabetics showed a higher number of diseased segments (4.1 ± 4.2 vs. 2.1 ± 3.0; p < 0.0001); a higher rate of CCS > 400 (p < 0.001), obstructive CAD (37% vs. 18% of patients; p < 0.0001), and fewer normal coronary arteries (20% vs. 42%; p < 0.0001), as compared to nondiabetics. The percentage of patients with obstructive CAD paralleled increasing CCS in both groups. Diabetics with CCS ≤ 10 had a higher prevalence of coronary plaque (39.6% vs. 24.5%, p = 0.003) and obstructive CAD (12.5% vs. 3.8%, p = 0.01). Among patients with CCS ≤ 10 all diabetics with obstructive CAD had a zero CCS and one patient was asymptomatic. Conclusions: Diabetes was associated with higher coronary plaque burden. The present study demonstrates that the absence of coronary calcification does not exclude obstructive CAD especially in diabetics.