Aims: Long-term randomized comparisons of percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) to coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) in left main coronary (LM) disease and/or three-vessel disease (3VD) patients have been limited. This analysis compares 3-year outcomes in LM and/or 3VD patients treated with CABG or PCI with TAXUS Express stents.
Methods and results: SYNTAX is an 85-centre randomized clinical trial (n= 1800). Prospectively screened, consecutive LM and/or 3VD patients were randomized if amenable to equivalent revascularization using either technique; if not, they were entered into a registry. Patients in the randomized cohort will continue to be followed for 5 years. At 3 years, major adverse cardiac and cerebrovascular events [MACCE: death, stroke, myocardial infarction (MI), and repeat revascularization; CABG 20.2% vs. PCI 28.0%, P< 0.001], repeat revascularization (10.7 vs. 19.7%, P< 0.001), and MI (3.6 vs. 7.1%, P= 0.002) were elevated in the PCI arm. Rates of the composite safety endpoint (death/stroke/MI 12.0 vs. 14.1%, P= 0.21) and stroke alone (3.4 vs. 2.0%, P= 0.07) were not significantly different between treatment groups. Major adverse cardiac and cerebrovascular event rates were not significantly different between arms in the LM subgroup (22.3 vs. 26.8%, P= 0.20) but were higher with PCI in the 3VD subgroup (18.8 vs. 28.8%, P< 0.001).
Conclusions: At 3 years, MACCE was significantly higher in PCI- compared with CABG-treated patients. In patients with less complex disease (low SYNTAX scores for 3VD or low/intermediate terciles for LM patients), PCI is an acceptable revascularization, although longer follow-up is needed to evaluate these two revascularization strategies.