Background: Recent reports have indicated that there may be an increased risk of late stent thrombosis with the use of drug-eluting stents, as compared with bare-metal stents.
Methods: We evaluated 6033 patients treated with drug-eluting stents and 13,738 patients treated with bare-metal stents in 2003 and 2004, using data from the Swedish Coronary Angiography and Angioplasty Registry. The outcome analysis covering a period of up to 3 years was based on 1424 deaths and 2463 myocardial infarctions and was adjusted for differences in baseline characteristics.
Results: The two study groups did not differ significantly in the composite of death and myocardial infarction during 3 years of follow-up. At 6 months, there was a trend toward a lower unadjusted event rate in patients with drug-eluting stents than in those with bare-metal stents, with 13.4 fewer such events per 1000 patients. However, after 6 months, patients with drug-eluting stents had a significantly higher event rate, with 12.7 more events per 1000 patients per year (adjusted relative risk, 1.20; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.05 to 1.37). At 3 years, mortality was significantly higher in patients with drug-eluting stents (adjusted relative risk, 1.18; 95% CI, 1.04 to 1.35), and from 6 months to 3 years, the adjusted relative risk for death in this group was 1.32 (95% CI, 1.11 to 1.57).
Conclusions: Drug-eluting stents were associated with an increased rate of death, as compared with bare-metal stents. This trend appeared after 6 months, when the risk of death was 0.5 percentage point higher and a composite of death or myocardial infarction was 0.5 to 1.0 percentage point higher per year. The long-term safety of drug-eluting stents needs to be ascertained in large, randomized trials.
Copyright 2007 Massachusetts Medical Society.