Importance: Myocardial ischemia in patients with stable coronary artery disease (CAD) has been repeatedly associated with impaired survival. However, it is unclear if revascularization with percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) to relieve ischemia improves outcomes compared with medical therapy (MT).
Objective: The objective of this study was to compare the effect of PCI and MT with MT alone exclusively in patients with stable CAD and objectively documented myocardial ischemia on clinical outcomes.
Data sources: MEDLINE, Cochrane, and PubMed databases from 1970 to November 2012. Unpublished data were obtained from investigators.
Study selection: Randomized clinical trials of PCI and MT vs MT alone for stable coronary artery disease in which stents and statins were used in more than 50% of patients.
Data extraction: For studies in which myocardial ischemia diagnosed by stress testing or fractional flow reserve was required for enrollment, descriptive and quantitative data were extracted from the published report. For studies in which myocardial ischemia was not a requirement for enrollment, authors provided data for only those patients with ischemia determined by stress testing prior to randomization. The outcomes analyzed included death from any cause, nonfatal myocardial infarction (MI), unplanned revascularization, and angina. Summary odds ratios (ORs) were obtained using a random-effects model. Heterogeneity was assessed using the Q statistic and I2.
Results: In 5 trials enrolling 5286 patients, myocardial ischemia was diagnosed in 4064 patients by exercise stress testing, nuclear or echocardiographic stress imaging, or fractional flow reserve. Follow-up ranged from 231 days to 5 years (median, 5 years). The respective event rates for PCI with MT vs MT alone for death were 6.5% and 7.3% (OR, 0.90 [95% CI, 0.71-1.16); for nonfatal MI, 9.2% and 7.6% (OR, 1.24 [95% CI, 0.99-1.56]); for unplanned revascularization, 18.3% and 28.4% (OR, 0.64 [95% CI, 0.35-1.17); and for angina, 20.3% and 23.3% (OR, 0.91 [95% CI, 0.57-1.44]).
Conclusions and relevance: In patients with stable CAD and objectively documented myocardial ischemia, PCI with MT was not associated with a reduction in death, nonfatal MI, unplanned revascularization, or angina compared with MT alone.