Revascularization in patients with heart failure

CMAJ. 2006 Aug 15;175(4):361-5. doi: 10.1503/cmaj.060108.


Background: Although practice guidelines recommend coronary revascularization for patients with heart failure, the evidence to support this recommendation is weak. The objective of our study was to determine the association of coronary revascularization with survival in patients who have had heart failure.

Methods: Data were obtained from the Alberta Provincial Project for Outcomes Assessment in Coronary Heart Disease (APPROACH), a clinical outcome-monitoring initiative that has captured data on all patients undergoing cardiac catheterization in the province of Alberta since 1995. Our study included data from patients with a history of heart failure and with documented coronary artery disease; patients with normal coronary arteries or prior coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) were excluded. We constructed survival curves and adjusted them by the corrected group prognosis method (incorporating all clinical variables in APPROACH). Propensity scores were used to account for clinical characteristics that could influence the decision to revascularize.

Results: A total of 2538 patients (mean age 68 yr, standard deviation [SD] 11 yr, 31% female) underwent revascularization; 1690 patients (mean age 69 [SD 11] yr, 34% female) did not. Crude 1-year mortality was 11.8% among patients who underwent revascularization, compared with 21.6% among those who did not. Adjusted survival curves diverged early and continued up to 7 years of follow-up (hazard ratio 0.50, 95% confidence interval 0.44-0.57). Propensity scores showed improved survival with revascularization across all quintiles of likelihood of revascularization.

Interpretation: This new evidence lends support to practice guidelines, which recommend revascularization in patients with heart failure and coronary disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Angioplasty, Balloon, Coronary
  • Cardiac Output, Low / etiology*
  • Cardiac Output, Low / mortality
  • Coronary Artery Disease / complications*
  • Coronary Artery Disease / surgery*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Revascularization*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Analysis
  • Treatment Outcome