Coronary artery bypass surgery is superior to second generation drug-eluting stents in three-vessel coronary artery disease: a propensity score matched analysis†

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Compared with percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) appears to be a promising revascularization strategy for multivessel coronary disease. Trials comparing these treatments have not used second-generation drug-eluting stents (2nd DES). We conducted a retrospective evaluation of both treatments using a propensity score-matched analysis (PSMA).


A total of 537 patients with three-vessel with/without left-main-trunk coronary artery disease underwent CABG (n = 239) or primary PCI using 2nd DES (298) at a single institution. PSMA resulted in 168 matched pairs. For both treatments, Kaplan-Meier analysis and Cox regression were used to compare all-cause mortality, cardiac death, myocardial infarction (MI), stroke rates and target-vessel revascularization (TVR).


The CABG group included sicker patients with renal dysfunction, peripheral vascular disease, low ejection fraction and current smokers than those in the PCI group. After PSMA, both groups were well matched in all parameters. Mean follow-up (months) was 32 in CABG and 35 in PCI. In the unmatched patient population, there was no difference in the incidence of all-cause death, cardiac death, MI, or stroke but the incidence of TVR was significantly higher in the PCI group [hazard ratio (HR) 4.63; 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 2.43-8.82; P < 0.001] and, after PSMA, the incidence of all-cause death (HR 2.71; 95% CI 1.14-6.46; P = 0.019) and TVR (HR 9.0; 95% CI 2.73-29.67; P < 0.001) was significantly higher in the PCI group than in the CABG group.


In patients with three-vessel coronary artery disease, CABG is associated with better survival and less revascularization than PCI using 2nd DES at mid-term results.

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