Diabetic and nondiabetic patients with left main and/or 3-vessel coronary artery disease: comparison of outcomes with cardiac surgery and paclitaxel-eluting stents

J Am Coll Cardiol. 2010 Mar 16;55(11):1067-75. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2009.09.057. Epub 2010 Jan 14.


Objectives: This study was designed to compare contemporary surgical revascularization (coronary artery bypass graft surgery [CABG]) versus TAXUS Express (Boston Scientific, Natick, Massachusetts) paclitaxel-eluting stents (PES) in diabetic and nondiabetic patients with left main and/or 3-vessel disease.

Background: Although the prevalence of diabetes mellitus is increasing, the optimal coronary revascularization strategy in diabetic patients with complex multivessel disease remains controversial.

Methods: The SYNTAX (SYNergy between percutaneous coronary intervention with TAXus and cardiac surgery) study randomly assigned 1,800 patients (452 with medically treated diabetes) to receive PES or CABG.

Results: The overall 1-year major adverse cardiac and cerebrovascular event rate was higher among diabetic patients treated with PES compared with CABG, but the revascularization method did not impact the death/stroke/myocardial infarction rate for nondiabetic patients (6.8% CABG vs. 6.8% PES, p = 0.97) or for diabetic patients (10.3% CABG vs. 10.1% PES, p = 0.96). The presence of diabetes was associated with significantly increased mortality after either revascularization treatment. The incidence of stroke was higher among nondiabetic patients after CABG (2.2% vs. PES 0.5%, p = 0.006). Compared with CABG, mortality was higher after PES use for diabetic patients with highly complex lesions (4.1% vs. 13.5%, p = 0.04). Revascularization with PES resulted in higher repeat revascularization for nondiabetic patients (5.7% vs. 11.1%, p < 0.001) and diabetic patients (6.4% vs. 20.3%, p < 0.001).

Conclusions: Subgroup analyses suggest that the 1-year major adverse cardiac and cerebrovascular event rate is higher among diabetic patients with left main and/or 3-vessel disease treated with PES compared with CABG, driven by an increase in repeat revascularization. However, the composite safety end point (death/stroke/myocardial infarction) is comparable between the 2 treatment options for diabetic and nondiabetic patients. Although further study is needed, these exploratory results may extend the evidence for PES use in selected patients with less complex left main and/or 3-vessel lesions. (SYNergy Between PCI With TAXus and Cardiac Surgery [SYNTAX]; NCT00114972).

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Angioplasty, Balloon, Coronary*
  • Coronary Artery Bypass*
  • Coronary Artery Disease / therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus*
  • Diabetic Angiopathies*
  • Drug-Eluting Stents
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Paclitaxel / administration & dosage
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Tubulin Modulators / administration & dosage


  • Tubulin Modulators
  • Paclitaxel

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT00114972