We report the results of a randomized multicenter clinical trial on the effects of aspirin plus dipyridamole versus placebo on major vascular end points in 231 non-insulin-dependent diabetic men with either a recent amputation for gangrene or active gangrene. Primary end points were death from atherosclerotic vascular disease plus amputation of the opposite extremity for gangrene. There were 24 atherosclerotic deaths in the drug treatment group (21.8%) and 23 in the placebo group (19.0%). There were 22 patients in the drug treatment group (20.0%) and 29 patients in the placebo group (24.0%) with opposite-side amputations. Survival curve analyses revealed little difference between these groups for major vascular end points, total mortality, all amputations, or myocardial infarctions. The most noteworthy group difference was observed for cerebrovascular end points (strokes and transient ischemic attacks), with an incidence of 8.2% (9 patients) in the drug treatment group and 19.0% (23 patients) in the placebo group. We conclude from this study that antiplatelet agents have no effect on the primary vascular end points, vascular deaths and/or amputation of the opposite extremity, in this population. Similarly, no effects were seen on secondary vascular end points, except for a suggestion of protection versus strokes and transient ischemic attacks. However, this finding must be interpreted with caution, since it is a secondary end point and was found only after multiple analyses of the data.