Background More than 600 000 coronary stents are implanted during percutaneous coronary interventions (PCIs) annually in the United States. Because no real-world surveillance system exists to monitor their long-term safety, claims data are often used for this purpose. The extent to which adverse events identified with claims data can be reasonably attributed to a specific medical device is uncertain. Methods and Results We used deterministic matching to link the NCDR (National Cardiovascular Data Registry) CathPCI Registry to Medicare fee-for-service claims for patients aged ≥65 years who underwent PCI with drug-eluting stents (DESs) between July 1, 2009 and December 31, 2013. We identified subsequent PCIs within 1 year of the index procedure in Medicare claims as potential safety events. We linked these subsequent PCIs back to the NCDR CathPCI Registry to ascertain how often the revascularization could be reasonably attributed to the same coronary artery as the index PCI (ie, target vessel revascularization). Of 415 306 DES placements in 368 194 patients, 33 174 repeat PCIs were identified in Medicare claims within 1 year. Of these, 28 632 (86.3%) could be linked back to the NCDR CathPCI Registry; 16 942 (51.1% of repeat PCIs) were target vessel revascularizations. Of these, 8544 (50.4%) were within a previously placed DES: 7652 for in-stent restenosis and 1341 for stent thrombosis. Of 16 176 patients with a claim for acute myocardial infarction in the follow-up period, 4446 (27.5%) were attributed to the same coronary artery in which the DES was implanted during the index PCI (ie, target vessel myocardial infarction). Of 24 288 patients whose death was identified in claims data, 278 (1.1%) were attributed to the same coronary artery in which the DES was implanted during the index PCI. Conclusions Most repeat PCIs following DES stent implantation identified in longitudinal claims data could be linked to real-world registry data, but only half could be reasonably attributed to the same coronary artery as the index procedure. Attribution among those with acute myocardial infarction or who died was even less frequent. Safety signals identified using claims data alone will require more in-depth examination to accurately assess stent safety.
Keywords: drug‐eluting stent; percutaneous coronary intervention; real‐world data; registry; surveillance.