Long-term mortality in asymptomatic patients with stable ischemic heart disease undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention

Am Heart J. 2022 Feb:244:77-85. doi: 10.1016/j.ahj.2021.10.190. Epub 2021 Nov 12.


Objectives: Patients with stable ischemic heart disease (SIHD) may present with a variety of symptoms including typical angina, angina equivalents such as dyspnea or no symptoms. We sought to determine whether symptom status affects periprocedural safety and long-term mortality in patients undergoing PCI.

Methods: Prospectively enrolled consecutive patients undergoing PCI for SIHD at six hospitals in Australia between 2005 to 2018 as part of the Melbourne Interventional Group registry. Symptom status was recorded at the time of PCI and patients undergoing staged PCI were excluded.

Results: Overall, 11,730 patients with SIHD were followed up for a median period of 5 years (maximum 14.0 years, interquartile range 2.2-9.0 years) with 1,317 (11.2%) being asymptomatic. Asymptomatic patients were older, and more likely to be male, have triple-vessel disease, with multiple comorbidities including renal failure, diabetes and heart failure (all P < .01). These patients had significantly higher rates of periprocedural complications and major adverse cardiovascular events at 30-days. Long-term mortality was significantly higher in asymptomatic patients (27.2% vs 18.0%, P < .001). On cox regression for long-term mortality, after adjustment for more important clinical variables, asymptomatic status was an independent predictor (Hazard ratio (HR) 1.39 95% CI 1.16-1.66, P < .001).

Conclusions: In a real-world cohort of patients undergoing revascularization for SIHD, absence of symptoms was associated with higher rates of periprocedural complications and, after adjustment for more important clinical variables, was an independent predictor of long-term mortality. As the primary goal of revascularization in SIHD remains angina relief, the appropriateness of PCI in the absence of symptoms warrants justification.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Coronary Artery Disease* / etiology
  • Coronary Artery Disease* / surgery
  • Female
  • Heart Failure* / etiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Myocardial Ischemia* / etiology
  • Myocardial Ischemia* / surgery
  • Percutaneous Coronary Intervention* / adverse effects
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Risk Factors
  • Treatment Outcome