Percutaneous coronary intervention vs. coronary artery bypass grafting for left main revascularization: an updated meta-analysis

Eur Heart J Qual Care Clin Outcomes. 2017 Jul 1;3(3):173-182. doi: 10.1093/ehjqcco/qcx008.


Aims: The optimal revascularization strategy for left main coronary artery disease (LMD) remains controversial, especially with two recent randomized controlled trials showing conflicting results. We sought to address this controversy with our analysis.

Methods and results: Comprehensive literature search was performed. We compared percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) and coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) for LMD revascularization using standard meta-analytic techniques. A 21% higher risk of long-term major adverse cardiac and cerebrovascular event [MACCE; composite of death, myocardial infarction (MI), stroke, and repeat revascularization] was observed in patients undergoing PCI in comparison with CABG [risk ratio (RR) 1.21, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.05-1.40]. This risk was driven by higher rate of repeat revascularization in those undergoing PCI (RR 1.61, 95% CI 1.34-1.95). On the contrary, MACCE rates at 30 days were lower in PCI when compared with CABG (RR 0.55, 95% CI 0.39-0.76), which was driven by lower rates of stroke in the PCI arm (RR 0.41, 95% CI 0.17-0.98). At 1 year, lower stroke rates (RR 0.21, 95% CI 0.08-0.59) in the PCI arm were balanced by higher repeat revascularization rates in those undergoing PCI (RR 1.78, 95% CI 1.33-2.37), resulting in a clinical equipoise in MACCE rates between the two revascularization strategies. There was no difference in death or MI between PCI when compared with CABG at any time point.

Conclusion: Outcomes of CABG vs. PCI for LMD revascularization vary over time. Therefore, individualized decisions need to be made for LMD revascularization using the heart team approach.

Keywords: Coronary artery bypass; Left main disease; Meta-analysis; Percutaneous coronary intervention.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Coronary Artery Bypass / methods*
  • Coronary Artery Disease / surgery*
  • Coronary Vessels / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Percutaneous Coronary Intervention / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome