Background: Coronary angiography is frequently performed after the initial diagnosis of heart failure to determine etiology and revascularization strategy. Current body of evidence suggests that surgical revascularization conveys a mortality benefit as compared to medical therapy alone, and the role of percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) is not yet established. The aim of this study is to describe revascularization patterns among patients presenting with systolic heart failure who underwent diagnostic angiography at a large urban county hospital.
Methods: We evaluated patients presenting to the emergency department with symptomatic heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) without acute coronary syndrome (n=150; average left ventricular ejection fraction of 25%) who underwent coronary angiography between January 2011 and January 2015. We defined surgical coronary artery disease (CAD) as: 1) three-vessel disease, 2) two-vessel disease including the proximal LAD artery, or 3) two-vessel disease including the left main coronary artery. Primary outcomes included intervention (PCI, CABG, or medical therapy [MT] alone) as well as referral for CABG.
Results: Of patients presenting with HFrEF who underwent diagnostic angiography, 80% (n=120) of patients had obstructive CAD with 36% (n=43) of those patients having surgical CAD. Of those with surgical CAD, 74% (n=32) underwent PCI, 18% (n=8) underwent CABG and 7% (n=3) received MT alone. Of patients with 1-vessel CAD, or 2-vessel CAD without involvement of the proximal LAD artery or left main coronary artery, 81% (n=63) underwent PCI while 19% (n=14) received MT alone.
Conclusion: Patients presenting with symptomatic HFrEF referred for cardiac catheterization have a high prevalence of obstructive CAD. Most patients with evidence of either surgical or non-surgical CAD during coronary angiography underwent revascularization, with PCI being the dominant revascularization method.