Quality of life after PCI with drug-eluting stents or coronary-artery bypass surgery.N Engl J Med. 2011 Mar 17; 364(11):1016-26.NEJM
Previous studies have shown that among patients undergoing multivessel revascularization, coronary-artery bypass grafting (CABG), as compared with percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) either by means of balloon angioplasty or with the use of bare-metal stents, results in greater relief from angina and improved quality of life. The effect of PCI with the use of drug-eluting stents on these outcomes is unknown.
In a large, randomized trial, we assigned 1800 patients with three-vessel or left main coronary artery disease to undergo either CABG (897 patients) or PCI with paclitaxel-eluting stents (903 patients). Health-related quality of life was assessed at baseline and at 1, 6, and 12 months with the use of the Seattle Angina Questionnaire (SAQ) and the Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36). The primary end point was the score on the angina-frequency subscale of the SAQ (on which scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating better health status).
The scores on each of the SAQ and SF-36 subscales were significantly higher at 6 and 12 months than at baseline in both groups. The score on the angina-frequency subscale of the SAQ increased to a greater extent with CABG than with PCI at both 6 and 12 months (P=0.04 and P=0.03, respectively), but the between-group differences were small (mean treatment effect of 1.7 points at both time points). The proportion of patients who were free from angina was similar in the two groups at 1 month and 6 months and was higher in the CABG group than in the PCI group at 12 months (76.3% vs. 71.6%, P=0.05). Scores on all the other SAQ and SF-36 subscales were either higher in the PCI group (mainly at 1 month) or were similar in the two groups throughout the follow-up period.
Among patients with three-vessel or left main coronary artery disease, there was greater relief from angina after CABG than after PCI at 6 and 12 months, although the extent of the benefit was small. (Funded by Boston Scientific; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00114972.).