Functional status and quality of life are important outcomes in the evaluation of revascularization approaches for symptomatic coronary artery disease. Few data are available regarding the comparative improvement in disease-specific health status after CABG versus percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) in the era of coronary stenting.
Cardiac-specific health status was evaluated at baseline and at 6 and 12 months after intervention with the Seattle Angina Questionnaire (SAQ) in patients randomized to stent-assisted PCI (n=488) versus CABG (n=500) in the Stent or Surgery trial. Scores for physical limitation, angina frequency, and quality of life improved significantly for both treatment groups at 6 months (range of improvement from 13.6 to 34.7 points) and 12 months (14.3 to 38.2 points; all P<0.001). CABG patients had greater improvement than those assigned to PCI, although the magnitude of the difference decreased over time (difference at 6 months, 4.03 to 6.48 points; 12 months, 2.05 to 2.93 points). A component of this reduction is accounted for by PCI-arm patients who required repeat intervention. Differences between treatment groups were greatest for the 6-month angina frequency scores (difference=6.48 points; 95% CI 3.96 to 8.99). Overall, treatment satisfaction was high and did not differ significantly between groups.
Both CABG and stent-assisted PCI dramatically improved cardiac-related health status in patients with multivessel disease at 6- and 12-month follow-up. During the first postprocedure year, patients' angina burden and physical limitations were alleviated to a greater extent with CABG.