Randomized trials that studied clinical outcomes after percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) with bare metal stenting versus coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) are underpowered to properly assess safety end points like death, stroke, and myocardial infarction. Pooling data from randomized controlled trials increases the statistical power and allows better assessment of the treatment effect in high-risk subgroups.
We performed a pooled analysis of 3051 patients in 4 randomized trials evaluating the relative safety and efficacy of PCI with stenting and CABG at 5 years for the treatment of multivessel coronary artery disease. The primary end point was the composite end point of death, stroke, or myocardial infarction. The secondary end point was the occurrence of major adverse cardiac and cerebrovascular accidents, death, stroke, myocardial infarction, and repeat revascularization. We tested for heterogeneities in treatment effect in patient subgroups. At 5 years, the cumulative incidence of death, myocardial infarction, and stroke was similar in patients randomized to PCI with stenting versus CABG (16.7% versus 16.9%, respectively; hazard ratio, 1.04, 95% confidence interval, 0.86 to 1.27; P=0.69). Repeat revascularization, however, occurred significantly more frequently after PCI than CABG (29.0% versus 7.9%, respectively; hazard ratio, 0.23; 95% confidence interval, 0.18 to 0.29; P<0.001). Major adverse cardiac and cerebrovascular events were significantly higher in the PCI than the CABG group (39.2% versus 23.0%, respectively; hazard ratio, 0.53; 95% confidence interval, 0.45 to 0.61; P<0.001). No heterogeneity of treatment effect was found in the subgroups, including diabetic patients and those presenting with 3-vessel disease.
In this pooled analysis of 4 randomized trials, PCI with stenting was associated with a long-term safety profile similar to that of CABG. However, as a result of persistently lower repeat revascularization rates in the CABG patients, overall major adverse cardiac and cerebrovascular event rates were significantly lower in the CABG group at 5 years.