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Cardiovasc Diabetol. 2018 Oct 23;17(1):138. doi: 10.1186/s12933-018-0781-1.

Lower extremity arterial disease in patients with diabetes: a contemporary narrative review.

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Département d'Endocrinologie, Diabétologie, Nutrition, Hôpital Haut-Lévêque, Avenue de Magellan, 33604, Pessac Cedex, France.
Département d'Endocrinologie, Diabétologie, Nutrition, Assistance Publique - Hôpitaux de Paris, Hospital Bichat, DHU FIRE, Paris, France.
UFR de Médecine, Université Paris Diderot, Sorbonne Paris Cité, Paris, France.
INSERM, UMRS 1138, Centre de Recherche des Cordeliers, Paris, France.
Faculté de Médecine, Université de Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France.
Département de Chirurgie Vasculaire, CHU de Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France.
Fondation Adolphe de Rothschild Hospital, Paris, France.
Département d'Endocrinologie, Diabétologie, Nutrition, Hôpital Haut-Lévêque, Avenue de Magellan, 33604, Pessac Cedex, France.
Faculté de Médecine, Université de Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France.


Lower-extremity arterial disease (LEAD) is a major endemic disease with an alarming increased prevalence worldwide. It is a common and severe condition with excess risk of major cardiovascular events and death. It also leads to a high rate of lower-limb adverse events and non-traumatic amputation. The American Diabetes Association recommends a widespread medical history and clinical examination to screen for LEAD. The ankle brachial index (ABI) is the first non-invasive tool recommended to diagnose LEAD although its variable performance in patients with diabetes. The performance of ABI is particularly affected by the presence of peripheral neuropathy, medial arterial calcification, and incompressible arteries. There is no strong evidence today to support an alternative test for LEAD diagnosis in these conditions. The management of LEAD requires a strict control of cardiovascular risk factors including diabetes, hypertension, and dyslipidaemia. The benefit of intensive versus standard glucose control on the risk of LEAD has not been clearly established. Antihypertensive, lipid-lowering, and antiplatelet agents are obviously worthfull to reduce major cardiovascular adverse events, but few randomised controlled trials (RCTs) have evaluated the benefits of these treatments in terms of LEAD and its related adverse events. Smoking cessation, physical activity, supervised walking rehabilitation and healthy diet are also crucial in LEAD management. Several advances have been achieved in endovascular and surgical revascularization procedures, with obvious improvement in LEAD management. The revascularization strategy should take into account several factors including anatomical localizations of lesions, medical history of each patients and operator experience. Further studies, especially RCTs, are needed to evaluate the interest of different therapeutic strategies on the occurrence and progression of LEAD and its related adverse events in patients with diabetes.


Ankle–brachial index; Atherosclerosis; Diabetes mellitus; Intermittent claudication; Lower-extremity arterial disease; Peripheral arterial disease; Revascularization

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