Isolated disease of the proximal left anterior descending artery. comparing the effectiveness of percutaneous coronary interventions and coronary artery bypass surgery

Objectives: This study sought to systematically compare the effectiveness of percutaneous coronary intervention and coronary artery bypass surgery in patients with single-vessel disease of the proximal left anterior descending (LAD) coronary artery.

Background: It is uncertain whether percutaneous coronary interventions (PCI) or coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) surgery provides better clinical outcomes among patients with single-vessel disease of the proximal LAD.

Methods: We searched relevant databases (MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Cochrane from 1966 to 2006) to identify randomized controlled trials that compared outcomes for patients with single-vessel proximal LAD assigned to either PCI or CABG.

Results: We identified 9 randomized controlled trials that enrolled a total of 1,210 patients (633 received PCI and 577 received CABG). There were no differences in survival at 30 days, 1 year, or 5 years, nor were there differences in the rates of procedural strokes or myocardial infarctions, whereas the rate of repeat revascularization was significantly less after CABG than after PCI (at 1 year: 7.3% vs. 19.5%; at 5 years: 7.3% vs. 33.5%). Angina relief was significantly greater after CABG than after PCI (at 1 year: 95.5% vs. 84.6%; at 5 years: 84.2% vs. 75.6%). Patients undergoing CABG spent 3.2 more days in the hospital than those receiving PCI (95% confidence interval: 2.3 to 4.1 days, p < 0.0001), required more transfusions, and were morelikely to have arrhythmias immediately post-procedure.

Conclusions: In patients with single-vessel, proximal LAD disease, survival was similar in CABG-assigned and PCI-assigned patients; CABG was significantly more effective in relieving angina and led to fewer repeat revascularizations.