Background: Long-term outcomes after percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) with contemporary drug-eluting stents, as compared with coronary-artery bypass grafting (CABG), in patients with left main coronary artery disease are not clearly established.
Methods: We randomly assigned 1905 patients with left main coronary artery disease of low or intermediate anatomical complexity (according to assessment at the participating centers) to undergo either PCI with fluoropolymer-based cobalt-chromium everolimus-eluting stents (PCI group, 948 patients) or CABG (CABG group, 957 patients). The primary outcome was a composite of death, stroke, or myocardial infarction.
Results: At 5 years, a primary outcome event had occurred in 22.0% of the patients in the PCI group and in 19.2% of the patients in the CABG group (difference, 2.8 percentage points; 95% confidence interval [CI], -0.9 to 6.5; P = 0.13). Death from any cause occurred more frequently in the PCI group than in the CABG group (in 13.0% vs. 9.9%; difference, 3.1 percentage points; 95% CI, 0.2 to 6.1). In the PCI and CABG groups, the incidences of definite cardiovascular death (5.0% and 4.5%, respectively; difference, 0.5 percentage points; 95% CI, -1.4 to 2.5) and myocardial infarction (10.6% and 9.1%; difference, 1.4 percentage points; 95% CI, -1.3 to 4.2) were not significantly different. All cerebrovascular events were less frequent after PCI than after CABG (3.3% vs. 5.2%; difference, -1.9 percentage points; 95% CI, -3.8 to 0), although the incidence of stroke was not significantly different between the two groups (2.9% and 3.7%; difference, -0.8 percentage points; 95% CI, -2.4 to 0.9). Ischemia-driven revascularization was more frequent after PCI than after CABG (16.9% vs. 10.0%; difference, 6.9 percentage points; 95% CI, 3.7 to 10.0).
Conclusions: In patients with left main coronary artery disease of low or intermediate anatomical complexity, there was no significant difference between PCI and CABG with respect to the rate of the composite outcome of death, stroke, or myocardial infarction at 5 years. (Funded by Abbott Vascular; EXCEL ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT01205776.).
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