Background: Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) and coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG) are being applied to high-risk populations, but previous randomized trials comparing revascularization methods have excluded a number of important high-risk groups.
Objectives: This five-year, multicenter, randomized clinical trial was designed to compare long-term survival among patients with medically refractory myocardial ischemia and a high risk of adverse outcomes assigned to either a CABG or a PCI strategy, which could include stents.
Methods: Patients from 16 Veterans Affairs Medical Centers were screened to identify myocardial ischemia refractory to medical management and the presence of one or more risk factors for adverse outcome with CABG, including prior open-heart surgery, age >70 years, left ventricular ejection fraction <0.35, myocardial infarction within seven days or intraaortic balloon pump required. Clinically eligible patients (n = 2,431) underwent coronary angiography; 781 were angiographically acceptable; 454 (58% of eligible) patients consented to random assignment between CABG and PCI.
Results: A total of 232 patients was randomized to CABG and 222 to PCI. The 30-day survivals for CABG and PCI were 95% and 97%, respectively. Survival rates for CABG and PCI were 90% versus 94% at six months and 79% versus 80% at 36 months (log-rank test, p = 0.46).
Conclusions: Percutaneous coronary intervention is an alternative to CABG for patients with medically refractory myocardial ischemia and a high risk of adverse outcomes with CABG.