Percutaneous Coronary Intervention of Left Main Disease: Pre- and Post-EXCEL (Evaluation of XIENCE Everolimus Eluting Stent Versus Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery for Effectiveness of Left Main Revascularization) and NOBLE (Nordic-Baltic-British Left Main Revascularization Study) Era

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Abstract

For nearly half a century, coronary artery bypass grafting has been the standard treatment for patients with obstructive left main coronary artery (LMCA) disease. However, there has been considerable evolution in the field of percutaneous coronary intervention, and especially, percutaneous coronary intervention for LMCA disease has been rapidly expanded with adoption of drug-eluting stents. Some, but not all randomized trials, have shown that percutaneous coronary intervention with drug-eluting stents might be a suitable alternative for selected patients with LMCA disease instead of bypass surgery. However, none of previous trials involving early-generation drug-eluting stents was sufficiently powered and comparative trials using contemporary drug-eluting stents were limited. Recently, primary results of 2 new trials of EXCEL (Evaluation of XIENCE Everolimus Eluting Stent Versus Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery for Effectiveness of Left Main Revascularization) and NOBLE (Nordic-Baltic-British Left Main Revascularization Study) were reported. However, these trials showed conflicting results, which might pose uncertainty on the optimal revascularization strategy for LMCA disease. In this article, with the incorporation of a key review on evolution of LMCA treatment, we summarize the similarity or disparity of the EXCEL and NOBLE trials, focus on how they relate to previous trials in the field, and finally speculate on how the treatment strategy may be changed or recommended for LMCA treatment.

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