Background: The prospective, multinational, randomized Synergy Between Percutaneous Coronary Intervention With TAXUS and Cardiac Surgery (SYNTAX) trial was designed to assess the optimal revascularization strategy between percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) and coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), for patients with left main (LM) and/or 3-vessel coronary disease.
Methods and results: This observational hypothesis-generating analysis reports the results of a prespecified powered subgroup of 705 randomized patients who had LM disease among the 1800 patients with de novo 3-vessel disease and/or LM disease randomized to PCI with paclitaxel-eluting stents or CABG in the SYNTAX trial. Major adverse cardiac and cerebrovascular event rates at 1 year in LM patients were similar for CABG and PCI (13.7% versus 15.8%; Delta2.1% [95% confidence interval -3.2% to 7.4%]; P=0.44). At 1 year, stroke was significantly higher in the CABG arm (2.7% versus 0.3%; Delta-2.4% [95% confidence interval -4.2% to -0.1%]; P=0.009]), whereas repeat revascularization was significantly higher in the PCI arm (6.5% versus 11.8%; Delta5.3% [95% confidence interval 1.0% to 9.6%]; P=0.02); there was no observed difference between groups for other end points. When patients were scored for anatomic complexity, those with higher baseline SYNTAX scores had significantly worse outcomes with PCI than did patients with low or intermediate SYNTAX scores; outcomes for patients with CABG did not correlate with baseline SYNTAX score, but baseline EuroSCORE significantly predicted outcomes for both treatments.
Conclusions: Patients with LM disease who had revascularization with PCI had safety and efficacy outcomes comparable to CABG at 1 year; longer follow-up is required to determine whether these 2 revascularization strategies offer comparable medium-term outcomes in this group of complex patients.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00114972.