Diabetes and antiplatelet therapy: from bench to bedside
Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a metabolic disorder associated with accelerated atherogenesis and an increased risk of atherothrombotic complications. Multiple mechanisms contribute to the pro-thrombotic status which characterizes DM patients underscoring the importance of antiplatelet therapies used for secondary prevention in these patients. For many years, dual antiplatelet therapy (DAPT) with aspirin and the P2Y12 inhibitor clopidogrel has represented the mainstay of treatment following an acute coronary syndrome (ACS) or in patients undergoing percutaneous coronary interventions (PCI). Although DAPT reduces the incidence of atherothrombotic recurrences, these rates remain high in DM patients underscoring the need for more efficacious therapies. Oral platelet P2Y12 receptor inhibitors with enhanced potency, such as prasugrel and ticagrelor, as well as antiplatelet therapies such as vorapaxar inhibiting the thrombin-mediated platelet signaling pathway, constitute treatment opportunities for patients with DM and have shown to be associated with a greater reduction in ischemic recurrences, albeit at the cost of more bleeding. This article reviews currently available antiplatelet agents and delivers an update on the advances and drawbacks of these agents used for secondary prevention in DM patients experiencing an ACS or undergoing PCI.