First generation versus second generation drug-eluting stents for the treatment of bifurcations: 5-year follow-up of the LEADERS all-comers randomized trial

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Historically, percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) of bifurcation lesions was associated with worse procedural and clinical outcomes when compared with PCI of non-bifurcation lesions. Newer generation drug-eluting stents (DES) might improve long-term clinical outcomes after bifurcation PCI.

Methods and Results:

The LEADERS trial was a 10-center, assessor-blind, non-inferiority, all-comers trial, randomizing 1,707 patients to treatment with a biolimus A9TM-eluting stent (BES) with an abluminal biodegradable polymer or a sirolimus-eluting stent (SES) with a durable polymer (ClinicalTrials.govIdentifier: NCT00389220). Five-year clinical outcomes were compared between patients with and without bifurcation lesions and between BES and SES in the bifurcation lesion subgroup.

Methods and Results:

There were 497 (29%) patients with at least 1 bifurcation lesion (BES = 258; SES = 239). At 5-year follow-up, the composite endpoint of cardiac death, myocardial infarction (MI) and clinically-indicated (CI) target vessel revascularization (TVR) was observed more frequently in the bifurcation group (26.6% vs. 22.4%,P= 0.049). Within the bifurcation lesion subgroup, no differences were observed in (cardiac) death or MI rates between BES and SES. However, CI target lesion revascularization (TLR) (10.1% vs. 15.9%,P= 0.0495), and CI TVR (12.0% vs. 19.2%,P= 0.023) rates were significantly lower in the BES group. Definite/probable stent thrombosis (ST) rate was numerically lower in the BES group (3.1% vs. 5.9%,P= 0.15). Very late (>1 year) definite/probable ST rates trended to be lower with BES (0.4% vs. 3.1%,P= 0.057).


In the treatment of bifurcation lesions, use of BES led to superior long-term efficacy compared with SES. Safety outcomes were comparable between BES and SES, with an observed trend toward a lower rate of very late definite/probable ST between 1 and 5 years with the BES. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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