Long-term follow-up after fractional flow reserve-guided treatment strategy in patients with an isolated proximal left anterior descending coronary artery stenosis
Objectives: This study sought to evaluate the long-term clinical outcome of patients with an angiographically intermediate left anterior descending coronary artery (LAD) stenosis in whom the revascularization strategy was based on fractional flow reserve (FFR). Background: When revascularization is based mainly on angiographic guidance, a number of hemodynamically nonsignificant stenoses will be revascularized. Methods: In 730 patients with a 30% to 70% isolated stenosis in the proximal LAD and no significant valvular disease, FFR measurements were obtained to guide treatment strategy. When FFR was <0.80, the patients (n = 564) were treated medically (medical group); when FFR was <0.80, the patients (n = 166) underwent a revascularization procedure (revascularization group; 13% coronary artery bypass graft surgery and 87% percutaneous coronary intervention). A 100% long-term clinical follow-up (median follow-up: 40 months) was obtained. The 5-year survival of the medical group was compared with that of a reference population. For each patient, 4 controls were selected from an age- and sex-matched control population. Results: The 5-year survival estimate was 92.9% in the medical group versus 89.6% in the controls (p = 0.74). The mean diameter stenosis was significantly smaller in the medical than in the revascularization group (39 ± 14% vs. 54 ± 13%, p < 0.0001), but there was a large overlap between both groups. The 5-year event-free survival estimates (death, myocardial infarction, and target vessel revascularization) were 89.7% and 68.5%, respectively (p < 0.0001). Conclusions: Medical treatment of patients with a hemodynamically nonsignificant stenosis (FFR <0.80) in the proximal LAD is associated with an excellent long-term clinical outcome with survival at 5 years similar to an age- and sex-matched control population.