Fractional Flow Reserve-Guided PCI or Coronary Bypass Surgery for 3-Vessel Coronary Artery Disease: 3-Year Follow-Up of the FAME 3 Trial

Circulation. 2023 Sep 19;148(12):950-958. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.123.065770. Epub 2023 Aug 21.


Background: Previous studies comparing percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) with coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) in patients with multivessel coronary disease not involving the left main have shown significantly lower rates of death, myocardial infarction (MI), or stroke after CABG. These studies did not routinely use current-generation drug-eluting stents or fractional flow reserve (FFR) to guide PCI.

Methods: FAME 3 (Fractional Flow Reserve versus Angiography for Multivessel Evaluation) is an investigator-initiated, multicenter, international, randomized trial involving patients with 3-vessel coronary artery disease (not involving the left main coronary artery) in 48 centers worldwide. Patients were randomly assigned to receive FFR-guided PCI using zotarolimus drug-eluting stents or CABG. The prespecified key secondary end point of the trial reported here is the 3-year incidence of the composite of death, MI, or stroke.

Results: A total of 1500 patients were randomized to FFR-guided PCI or CABG. Follow-up was achieved in >96% of patients in both groups. There was no difference in the incidence of the composite of death, MI, or stroke after FFR-guided PCI compared with CABG (12.0% versus 9.2%; hazard ratio [HR], 1.3 [95% CI, 0.98-1.83]; P=0.07). The rates of death (4.1% versus 3.9%; HR, 1.0 [95% CI, 0.6-1.7]; P=0.88) and stroke (1.6% versus 2.0%; HR, 0.8 [95% CI, 0.4-1.7]; P=0.56) were not different. MI occurred more frequently after PCI (7.0% versus 4.2%; HR, 1.7 [95% CI, 1.1-2.7]; P=0.02).

Conclusions: At 3-year follow-up, there was no difference in the incidence of the composite of death, MI, or stroke after FFR-guided PCI with current-generation drug-eluting stents compared with CABG. There was a higher incidence of MI after PCI compared with CABG, with no difference in death or stroke. These results provide contemporary data to allow improved shared decision-making between physicians and patients with 3-vessel coronary artery disease.

Registration: URL: https://www.

Clinicaltrials: gov; Unique identifier: NCT02100722.

Keywords: coronary artery bypass; drug-eluting stents; percutaneous coronary intervention.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Coronary Artery Bypass / adverse effects
  • Coronary Artery Disease* / surgery
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Fractional Flow Reserve, Myocardial*
  • Humans
  • Myocardial Infarction*
  • Percutaneous Coronary Intervention* / adverse effects
  • Stroke* / epidemiology
  • Stroke* / etiology

Associated data