Background: Although early revascularization improves outcomes for patients with acute coronary syndromes, the role of revascularization for patients with nonacute coronary artery disease is controversial. The objective of this meta-analysis was to compare surgical or percutaneous revascularization with medical therapy alone to determine the impact of revascularization on death and nonfatal myocardial infarction in patients with coronary artery disease.
Methods: The Medline and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials databases were searched to identify randomized trials of coronary revascularization (either surgical or percutaneous) versus medical therapy alone in patients with nonacute coronary disease reporting the individual outcomes of death or nonfatal myocardial infarction reported at a minimum follow-up of 1 year. A random effects model was used to calculate odds ratios (OR) for the 2 prespecified outcomes.
Results: Twenty-eight studies published from 1977 to 2007 were identified for inclusion in the analysis; the revascularization modality was percutaneous coronary intervention in 17 studies, coronary bypass grafting in 6 studies, and either strategy in 5 studies. Follow-up ranged from 1 to 10 years with a median of 3 years. The 28 trials enrolled 13,121 patients, of whom 6476 were randomized to revascularization and 6645 were randomized to medical therapy alone. The OR for revascularization versus medical therapy for mortality was 0.74 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.63-0.88). A stratified analysis according to revascularization mode revealed both bypass grafting (OR 0.62; 95% CI, 0.50-0.77) and percutaneous intervention (OR 0.82; 95% CI, 0.68-0.99) to be superior to medical therapy with respect to mortality. Revascularization was not associated with a significant reduction in nonfatal myocardial infarction compared with medical therapy (OR 0.91; 95% CI, 0.72-1.15).
Conclusion: Revascularization by coronary bypass surgery or percutaneous intervention in conjunction with medical therapy in patients with nonacute coronary artery disease is associated with significantly improved survival compared with medical therapy alone.